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Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the testicles and the male reproductive glands located inside the scrotum. Although it is relatively rare, it is the most common cancer among young men aged 15 to 35.

Testicular cancer is highly treatable, especially when diagnosed early, and the prognosis for most cases is good. However, as with all cancers, early detection and treatment are critical. In this context, knowing the risk factors, symptoms, and screening measures for testicular cancer is essential to ensure timely diagnosis and prompt treatment.

What Are Testicles 

Testicles, or testes, are part of the male reproductive system. They are two small oval-shaped glands in the scrotum, a skin sac below the penis. Testicles produce and store sperm, the male reproductive cells, and testosterone, the primary male sex hormone. 

Testosterone is responsible for developing male sexual characteristics such as the growth of facial and body hair, deepening of the voice, and increased muscle mass. The testicles are a vital part of the male reproductive system, and any problems with them can affect a man’s fertility and sexual function.

Signs of Testicular Cancer

The symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  1. A lump or swelling on one or both testicles.
  2. A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
  3. Pain or discomfort in the testicles or scrotum.
  4. A dull ache or sharp pain in the lower abdomen or groin.
  5. Enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue (gynecomastia).
  6. Back pain or other unexplained aches in the body.
  7. Changes in the size or shape of the testicles.
  8. Feeling tired or lethargic.

These symptoms can also be caused by other conditions, such as an infection or injury, and not all men with testicular cancer will experience all of these symptoms. It’s important to see one of our qualified doctors at Z Urology if any of these symptoms persist or worsen over time. Early detection and treatment of testicular cancer are critical for a good prognosis.

What Causes Testicular Cancer

The exact cause of testicular cancer is not known. However, researchers believe that certain factors may increase the risk of developing the disease. These include:

  1. Abnormal Testicle Development: Men with abnormal testicle development may be at an increased risk of testicular cancer.
  2. Age: Testicular cancer can occur at any age, but it is most common in men between 15 and 35.
  3. Family History: Men with a family history of testicular cancer are at a higher risk of developing the disease.
  4. Cryptorchidism: This is a condition where the testicles fail to descend into the scrotum. Men with this condition are at a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.
  5. HIV Infection: Men with HIV may have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.
  6. Ethnicity: Testicular cancer is more common in Caucasian men than in men of other ethnicities.
  7. Previous History: Men with testicular cancer in one testicle are at an increased risk of developing the disease in the other testicle.
  8. Environmental Factors: Exposure to certain chemicals or radiation may increase the risk of developing testicular cancer.

Having one or more of these risk factors doesn’t mean that you will develop testicular cancer. Many men with the disease have no known risk factors.

The Diagnosis Process

Z Urology is well-equipped to diagnose testicular cancer using a variety of methods. A physical exam will be the first step, during which the doctor will check for any lumps, swelling, or tenderness in the testicles. 


We may perform an ultrasound to get an image of the testicles and determine any masses’ presence. We can also run blood tests to check for tumor markers, such as alpha-fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin, which are often elevated in the presence of testicular cancer.

Blood Testing

If we find any abnormalities, blood testing may be done to determine if cancer cells are present. Based on the results of these tests, a diagnosis can be made, and a treatment plan will be developed.

Z Urology prides itself on its state-of-the-art diagnostic tools and experienced urologists who can provide accurate and prompt diagnoses. Patients can trust they will receive the highest quality of care at Z Urology.

Treatments for Testicular Cancer

Should it be determined that a patient has testicular cancer, here is a list of treatments for testicular cancer:

  1. Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for testicular cancer. In most cases, the affected testicle is removed through a surgical procedure called radical inguinal orchiectomy.
  • Radical inguinal orchiectomy: Radical inguinal orchiectomy is a surgical procedure involving removing one or both testicles. It is the primary treatment for most cases of testicular cancer. The procedure is done under general anesthesia, and a small incision is made in the groin area. The testicle is then removed, along with the spermatic cord. If only one testicle is removed, the remaining testicle will usually be able to compensate for the loss of function.

In most cases, radical inguinal orchiectomy is curative for early-stage testicular cancer. However, further treatment may be necessary for more advanced cases or if cancer has spread to other body parts. The surgery is typically followed by chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or a combination of both, depending on the stage and type of cancer. 

 Potential risks of surgery include bleeding, infection, and damage to surrounding structures. Your doctor will discuss the risks and benefits of the procedure with you before the surgery.

  1. Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells. Radiation therapy may be used after surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
  2. Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy may be used before or after surgery or as a primary treatment option for testicular cancer that has spread to other body parts.
  3. Surveillance: Doctors may sometimes recommend surveillance or observation instead of immediate treatment. Surveillance involves regular check-ups and monitoring of cancer to see if it grows or spreads.
  4. High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant: In rare cases of testicular cancer that have spread to other parts of the body, high-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant may be a treatment option.
  5. Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection (RPLND): RPLND is a surgical procedure that is used to remove lymph nodes in the abdomen to which testicular cancer is likely to spread. It is typically done if there is a high risk, or specific radiographic evidence that cancer has spread to the lymph nodes.

Recovery From Testicular Cancer

Recovery from testicular cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of cancer, the type of treatment received, and the individual’s overall health. After treatment, patients must be closely monitored to ensure that cancer does not return. Close monitoring may involve regular follow-up appointments with the urologist, blood tests, and imaging tests.

In some cases, men may experience side effects from treatment that can impact their quality of life. For example, surgery to remove a testicle can result in decreased testosterone levels, leading to fatigue, reduced sex drive, and other symptoms. Hormone replacement therapy or other medications may be prescribed to help manage these side effects.

Men who have been diagnosed with testicular cancer may also experience emotional challenges, such as anxiety or depression. They need a strong support system, including friends, family, or a mental health professional. Counseling or support groups can also be beneficial.

The prognosis for testicular cancer is generally excellent, with high survival rates even for more advanced cases. With proper treatment and ongoing monitoring, most men can recover and return to their normal activities.

Testicular Prosthesis

A testicular prosthesis, also known as a testicular implant, is an artificial testicle placed in the scrotum to replace a missing or removed testicle. It is an option for men with one or both testicles removed due to testicular cancer or other conditions.

The prosthesis is usually made of silicone or other safe materials for the body. It comes in various sizes and shapes to match the remaining testicle or to achieve a desired cosmetic result.

There are several benefits to having a testicular prosthesis after testicular cancer, including;

  • Improved self-esteem
  • Better Body image
  • Improved Sexual function
  • Feeling of normalcy 
  • Patient comfort 

It can also help to prevent psychological distress and depression that may arise from having a missing or removed testicle.

Implanting a testicular prosthesis is simple and can be done under local anesthesia. It involves making a small incision in the scrotum and inserting the prosthesis into the empty space. The surgery typically takes less than an hour, and patients can usually go home the same day.

How to Prevent Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer, but there are steps that men can take to reduce their risk. Here are some ways to prevent testicular cancer:

  1. Perform Regular Self Exams: Men should perform a monthly testicular self-exam to detect any changes or abnormalities in the testicles. Any lumps, bumps, or swelling should be reported to a doctor.
  2. Maintain a Healthy Weight: Obesity has been linked to an increased risk of testicular cancer. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet and regular exercise can help reduce this risk.
  3. Protect the Testicles: Men should wear protective gear during contact sports or activities that could result in trauma to the testicles. Protective equipment can include a cup during sports or using caution during sexual activity.
  4. Avoid Tobacco and Drugs: Smoking and using certain drugs, such as marijuana, have been linked to an increased risk of testicular cancer. Avoiding these substances can help reduce the risk.
  5. Be Mindful of Occupational Hazards: Certain occupations, such as exposure to chemicals or radiation, can increase the risk of testicular cancer. Men in these fields should take extra precautions and discuss any concerns with their healthcare providers.
  6. Get Regular Check-Ups: Men should see their healthcare provider for regular check-ups and cancer screenings. Regular check-ups can help detect testicular cancer in its early stages and improve the chances of successful treatment.

While these steps can help reduce the risk of testicular cancer, they do not guarantee prevention. Men should be aware of the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer and speak with their healthcare provider if they have any concerns.

Life After Testicular Cancer

After treatment for testicular cancer, survivors may experience physical, emotional, and psychological changes. In addition to managing any ongoing side effects from treatment, such as fatigue or neuropathy, many survivors may struggle with feelings of anxiety, depression, or stress related to their cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Survivors of testicular cancer may also have concerns about fertility and sexual function. Treatment may have affected the production of sperm, which can impact a man’s ability to father children. Depending on the extent of treatment, sexual function may also be impacted.

It is important for survivors to receive ongoing follow-up care with their healthcare provider. Follow-up care may include regular physical exams, imaging tests, and blood work to monitor for any signs of cancer recurrence or complications related to treatment.

Survivors may also find support from others who have gone through similar experiences. Support groups, online forums, and individual counseling can all be helpful resources for managing the emotional and psychological impact of cancer survivorship.

With proper treatment and ongoing care, many testicular cancer survivors can lead fulfilling and healthy lives. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise and a balanced diet, helps support overall health and well-being.

Fertility Before and After Testicular Cancer 

As previously stated, testicular cancer and its treatment can impact fertility in men. The testicles produce sperm, and any damage to them during surgery or radiation therapy can reduce or eliminate the production of sperm. However, not all men will experience infertility after treatment, and most will still be able to father children naturally.

Before treatment, it is recommended that men with testicular cancer discuss their options for preserving fertility with their healthcare team. This may include sperm banking, a process where sperm is collected and frozen for later use in assisted reproductive techniques like in vitro fertilization (IVF) or intrauterine insemination (IUI).

After treatment, it may take some time for sperm production to return to normal levels. It is recommended to wait several months before attempting to conceive naturally or using assisted reproductive techniques. In some cases, if the damage to the testicles is severe, natural conception may not be possible, and couples may need to explore other options, like adoption or using a sperm donor.

Overall, while testicular cancer and its treatment can impact fertility, there are options available for men who wish to preserve their ability to have biological children. Men need to discuss their concerns and opportunities with their healthcare team to make informed decisions about their fertility.

What Makes Z Urology Different 

Z Urology is a trusted and experienced urology practice that offers comprehensive services for men with urologic conditions such as testicular cancer. Our board-certified urologists at Z Urology are committed to providing our patients with the highest level of care. We use the latest techniques and industry-standard technologies to diagnose and treat urologic conditions, including testicular cancer.

One of the advantages of choosing Z Urology for testicular cancer is our personalized approach to care. Each patient is unique, and your treatment plan should reflect that. Our team at Z Urology takes the time to get to know our patients, their medical history, and their concerns. We use this information to develop a customized treatment plan that meets each patient’s individual needs.

Another advantage of Z Urology is our commitment to using the latest technology and techniques in diagnosing and treating testicular cancer. We are equipped with state-of-the-art diagnostic tools, which help us accurately diagnose testicular cancer. Our team is also highly experienced in performing procedures for treating testicular cancer.

Z Urology is also known for its compassionate and patient-centered approach to care. We understand that a diagnosis of testicular cancer can be overwhelming and emotional for patients and their families. Our team at Z Urology is dedicated to providing support and guidance throughout the entire treatment process, from diagnosis to recovery.

Z Urology is ideal for anyone seeking expert and compassionate care for testicular cancer and other urologic conditions. Our commitment to personalized care, the latest technology, and our patient-centered approach make us the best choice for men seeking exceptional urologic care.

Give us a call at (954) 714-8200 today!