Testicular Cancer Symptoms and Treatment Options for Lake Charles & Sulphur, LA Patients
Testicular cancer is actually a more rare cancer and is easy to detect, making it very treatable.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
It is very important to check yourself for testicular cancer once in awhile. Signs of testicular cancer include:
- A lump on, or an enlarged, testicle (sometimes without pain)
- Pain or numbness in the abdomen and groin area
- Pain and discomfort near your testicle or scrotum
- Heavy feeling in the scrotum
- A collection of fluid in the scrotum
Most of the time, cancer only affects one testicle. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with Dr. Siddiq to get a proper exam and diagnosis.
Risk factors of testicular cancer
Like many cancers, specific causes are unknown. However, there are risk factors that contribute to testicular cancer that include:
Age – Testicular cancer is most common in men between the ages of 15-35
Family History – There is an increased risk of getting testicular cancer if a family member has had it
Unusual Testicle Development – Conditions such as an descended testicle or Klinefelter’s syndrome can increase your risk of getting testicular cancer
Preventing Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is very easy to treat because it’s easy to detect due to obvious, external symptoms. The first sign of the early stages of testicular cancer is usually a lump. Therefore self-examination is the best preventative measure against testicular cancer.
How to Complete a Self-Exam
Performing a testicular self-examination is quick, and should be done once per month. Follow these simple steps:
- Begin the exam after a warm shower to ensure that the skin is loose and relaxed, making it easier to feel any lumps within the testicles.
- Make sure to use both hands with the index and middle fingers underneath the testicle and the thumbs on top. Once the testicle rests firmly between your fingers, you should start to roll your thumbs across the testicle.
- Stand in front of a mirror and look for swelling around the area
It is important to note that you will feel certain anatomical structures such as the epididymis, which is located at the back of the testicle. The epididymis is responsible for transporting sperm. It may feel like a lump with a strange chord-like texture, but it is absolutely normal and should not concern you in any way.
Most real lumps will be painless bits of tissue the size of a pea or larger. If you believe you have found a lump, it is critical to contact Dr. Saddiq immediately. Even if it is a false alarm, it is so much better to be safe than sorry when it comes to testicular cancer.
If you’re unsure about your self-diagnosis, making an appointment with Dr. Siddiq even if you think you may notice a sign of testicular cancer is always a good idea. The earlier you may detect it, the easier it is to treat.
Dr. Saddiq may perform blood tests or additional tests to diagnose the cancer.
Additional Tests for Testicular Cancer
If Dr. Saddiq finds a suspicious lump, or any other sign of testicular cancer, he will need to perform additional tests in order to determine a cause for these abnormalities. Usually, an ultrasound of the testicles is the first to be done.
All ultrasounds use sound waves in order to produce images of inner tissues of the body. These sound waves bounce around inside the testicle and reverberate back to create a clear depiction of the organ and any possible lumps within it. If the lump appears to be solid, it is more likely to be cancerous. Other imaging tests such as x-rays, a computed tomography (CT) scan, a positron emission tomography (PET) scan, or a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may also be utilized to more accurately diagnose a patient.
Blood tests may also be completed in order to diagnose a case of testicular cancer. These tests look for high levels of particular proteins known as tumor markers. When present, these tumor markers suggest the existence of a testicular tumor.
Many cancer diagnoses involve a biopsy. A biopsy entails removing a tiny piece of the suspicious tissue and analyzing it. However, testicular cancer is unique in the fact that a biopsy may risk the spread of the cancer, so many physicians will recommend immediate treatment rather than risk a worsening case of testicular cancer.
Treatment Options for Testicular Cancer in Sulphur and Lake Charles
If it is determined you have testicular cancer, there are a few options.
Surgery to remove your testicle – This is one of the most common treatments for testicular cancer at most stages. If you choose, you have the option to replace it with a prosthetic.
Surgery to remove lymph nodes – This procedure involves the surgeon making an incision in your abdomen and removing the cancerous lymph nodes. Sometimes nerves can be damaged in the process.
Radiation Therapy – This treatment is mainly used for specific types of testicular cancer like seminoma. This involves high energy beams like X-rays pinpointed at specific parts of your body. Sometimes this is done for a little while after your testicle is removed as an extra precaution. Side effects include fatigue, redness in the area and possibly infertility.
Chemotherapy – In some cases, this may be your only treatment option, or can be used in conjunction with lymph node surgery. This process involves drug injection regularly over a period of time. Side effects depend on what type of drug but can include fatigue, nausea, hair loss and possibly permanent infertility
For more information
Make an appointment with Dr. Siddiq if you believe you may have testicular cancer by calling (337) 480-7499.