How Testicular Cancer is Diagnosed and Treated
Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cells of the testicles. It affects mainly men and is the most common type of cancer in young men ages 15 – 34 years old. Early detection and treatment of testicular cancer is key to ensuring its successful treatment and improving long-term health outcomes.
Physical Exam: During a physical exam, your doctor will check for swollen, hardened, or otherwise abnormalities in the size or shape of your testicles.
Imaging Tests: A scrotal ultrasound may be recommended if your doctor finds any abnormal areas during a physical exam. This test uses ultrasound waves to create images in-depth of the inside of the scrotum.
Biopsy: When an abnormality is found, a biopsy may be done to test a tissue sample for cancer cells. During a biopsy, a tissue sample is removed and sent to a lab to be examined by a doctor.
Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment for testicular cancer. Surgery may involve removing the affected testicle and any nearby affected lymph nodes.
Radiation Therapy: Radiation therapy uses high-energy rays to destroy cancer cells. This therapy can be used both before and after surgery, depending on the stage and type of testicular cancer.
Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is the use of drugs, usually injected intravenously (IV), to kill cancer cells. It may be used after surgery, if the cancer has spread, or if the cancer is recurring.
Overall Health Tips
Testicular cancer is a serious condition, but it is highly treatable. You can improve your overall health by:
- Eating a healthy diet that is high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
- Getting regular exercise – Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise three to five times each week.
- Maintaining a healthy body weight – Being overweight or obese can increase the risk of cancer.
- Limiting your alcohol intake – Excessive alcohol intake can increase your risk of testicular cancer.
- Practicing safe sex – Certain sexually transmitted infections can increase your risk of testicular cancer.
If you have been diagnosed with testicular cancer, it is important to follow your treatment plan and talk to your doctor about any concerns or questions you may have. Early detection and treatment are key to a successful outcome.