Testicular Cancer Overview
Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer, with about 170,000 survivors of testicular cancer in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.
WellStar Health System provides superior care for testicular cancer, offering a comprehensive spectrum of top-notch physicians, treatment options and diagnostic tools. In addition WellStar offers such innovative advantages in the fight against testicular cancer, including:
Urologic surgeons, who practice state-of-the-art care in a collegial atmosphere, as well as medical oncologists with special interest in testicular cancer. This includes those trained in robotic surgery as well.
Pathologists, who are well trained in diagnosing various types of testes cancer:
- Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy (IMRT), a treatment that allows for the radiation to be tailored to the size and placement of the tumor, while sparing healthy tissue.
- A Tumor Board, which holds weekly meetings of a multidisciplinary team, for review of complex case
- Clinical trials - more than 200 patients are enrolled annually in WellStar programs
Testicular cancer can be initially very scary - particularly for young men. They fear a loss of sexuality and the loss of ability to father a child - since the sex hormone, testosterone, and sperm are produced in the testicles.
But a diagnosis of testicular cancer does not mean both testicles will be removed. Often, the disease is confined to one testicle - and when it is removed, a saline prosthesis can be inserted so that a man’s body looks as it did before surgery.
Your WellStar physician is extremely sensitive and knowledgeable about these issues and is ready to discuss them with you.
Surgical removal of the affected testicle - or orchiectomy - is standard treatment, regardless of the type of testis cancer. If cancer is present in both testicles - which is rare - both will be removed. Sometimes, nearby lymph nodes are also removed.
Your WellStar surgeon is highly skilled in performing the surgeries required to treat testicular cancer. Through special training, your WellStar surgeon has learned how to spare nerve bundles so that your sexuality will not be affected - and after surgery and other treatment, most men are able to enjoy a normal sex life.
The effect of testicular cancer on a man’s sexuality is often one of his biggest concerns. However, it is important to note that removal of a testicle does not affect a man’s ability to have an erection, and men who have only one testicle removed may still be able to father children.
Your WellStar physician and treatment team will discuss options with you once a treatment plan has been set, that could include sperm banking and testosterone supplements.
Symptoms of testicular cancer include:
- A lump in one or both of the testicles
- A feeling of fullness in the abdomen
- In very rare cases, growth in the breasts
- Undescended testicle or cryptorchidism. As baby boys develop in utero, their testicles develop in their body. Normally, both testicles descend into the scrotum before birth. But in about 3 percent of boys, the testicles do not descend. This condition is considered a risk factor for testicular cancer.
- Family history.
- A white man has about five times the risk as an African American man.
- Cancer in the other testicle.