Testicular cancer develops as the malignant (cancer) cells grow in the tissues of the one or (less frequently) the testicles in both. Testicles are two oval male sex organs located inside the scrotum to the opposite side of the penis. The testicles play a significant component in the reproductive process of males as they are the source of sperm and testosterone. This hormone is a problematic factor in a man’s sexual development. The testicles are two walnut-shaped glands for sex that produce testosterone and sperm. They are located within a skin sac below your penis, referred to as the scrotum.
Sperm cells are created in thread-like, long tubes within the testicles called seminiferous tubules. They’re stored in a tiny coiled tube behind each testicle, known as the epididymis. That’s the place where they grow. In ejaculation, sperm cells are transferred through the epididymis vas deferens and into their seminal veins. They combine with the fluids produced by the vesicles, prostate gland, and various glands to create semen. The fluid is then absorbed by the urethra, the tube located in the middle of the penis. Through it, both semen and urine exit the body.
There exist two primary kinds of testicular cancer Germ cell tumors and stromal tumors. Both kinds are subdivided into subtypes. The most popular type of cancer in the testis is a germ cell tumor. There are two kinds of GCT seminoma and non-seminomatous germ cell tumors (NSGCT). Seminoma and NSGCT both occur similarly, and males can suffer from seminoma, NSGCT, or both. There are a variety of differentiators between seminomas and NSGCT and NSGCT. However, the main distinction is determined by how the tumor appears under a microscope.
Seminoma testicular Cancer
- Seminoma is a neoplastic germ cell tumor that typically affects the testicle and, more often, the retroperitoneum, mediastinum, or other extra-gonadal sites. It is among the most curable and treatable cancers, with a survival rate of 95% or more if detected in the early stages. Seminomas are more likely to expand and spread slower than NSGCT, but some can increase. Seminoma subtypes are:
- Classic seminoma 95% of seminomas are classical
- Spermatocytic seminoma is a condition that tends to develop in older men and has a good prognosis.
- Seminomas may release human gonadotropin chorionic (HCG); however, they don’t release other tumor markers (see our section on cancer markers for more information). If the seminoma grows beyond the testicle typically treated using radiation or chemotherapy. Surgery is an option in certain instances.
Nonseminomatous Germ Cell Tumors:-
- Nonseminomatous germ cells are cancerous tumors typically located within the pineal gland in the brain, within the mediastinum, or even in the abdomen. They are derived from cells designed to produce sexual cells (i.e., the sperm or eggs). NSGCT can be very diverse in appearance, prognosis, and treatment. Four significant kinds of NSGCT may appear as a single but are more often seen as the “mixed” NSGCT, with multiple types present:
- Embryonal Cancer is found in approximately 40% of tumors and is one of the fastest-growing and potentially dangerous cancer types. The tumor can secrete HCG or alpha Fetoprotein (AFP).
- Yolk sac cancer: the most prevalent kind of cancer in children. It responds well to chemotherapy both in adults and children. Yolk sac tumors usually produce AFP.
- Choriocarcinoma is A rare and highly aggressive form of cancer of the testis. Can secrete HCG.
- Teratomas: are most commonly seen with a mixture of NSGCT. Typically, they grow in a local area but may be seen in lymph nodes located in the retroperitoneal region. Teratoma is cancer- and radiation-resistant and most effectively treated with surgical removal.
Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumor (GIST)
- A gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is one form of tumor found within the digestive tract and most typically in the stomach and small intestine. This kind of tumor originates from the specialized cells that reside inside the stomach tract, known as interstitial Cajal cells (ICCs), as precursors for these types of cells. They can also grow from the supporting tissues surrounding the germ cells of the testicle. They are infrequent and comprise only a fraction of all testis cancers. They also have the best chance of being successfully removed. Two kinds of tumors are stromal:
- Leydig cancer cells: Leydig cells are responsible for the testosterone hormone in men and are typically treated through surgery.
- Sertoli tumors of the cell: Sertoli cells support and provide nourishment to the sperm development process and are generally benign cancers.
Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer
- The risk of developing cancer in men’s balls is approximately one out of 270. However, the chance of remission is very high (greater than 95 percent for patients with testis cancer). Around 400 men have testis cancer every year (the probability of dying from testis cancer is lower than 1 in five). The estimates of the American Cancer Society for the incidence of testicular cancer in the United States for 2022 are:
- More than 9,910 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed.
- Around 460 people die from cancer of the testicle.
- The rate of incidence of cancers in the testicular gland has been rising in the US and other countries over the past few decades. The majority of the increase is for seminomas. Experts are not been capable to pinpoint the origin. Recently the rate of growth has been slowed.
- Testicular cancer isn’t uncommon: approximately one of 250 males will develop testicular cancer throughout their lives. The median age at the moment of diagnosis for cancer of the testicle is approximately 33. It is primarily a condition that affects middle-aged and young men, but around 6 percent of cases happen in teenagers and children, and around 8% of cases occur for men over 55. Since testicular cancer can usually be successfully treated, the risk of dying from this disease is low.
What are the warning signs of testicular cancer?
Testicular Cancer Lump
- An enlargement or lump that occurs of the testicle or in either
- Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
- A mild ache in the stomach or the groin
- An abrupt accumulation of fluid from the scrotum
- Inflammation or pain in the testicle or the scrotum
- The tenderness or enlargement of breasts
- Back back pain
A benign lump on testicles pain or swelling on the testicle of either. If detected early, a tumor of the testicle could be as small as one-quarter of the size of a pea or marble. However, it could get much more significant.
The sensation of pain, discomfort or numbness, or pain in the testicle or scrotum and without swelling.
A change in how the testicle feels or a sensation of weight inside the scrotum.
A dull ache that is felt within the abdominal area, or the groin
A sudden buildup of fluids in the scrotum
Growth or tenderness of the breast. Although it is rare, some testicular tumors release hormones that cause breast tenderness or breast tissue growth.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms
Shortness of breath, chest discomfort, and bloody sputum or phlegm could be symptoms of testicular cancer.
Swelling in one or both legs or breathlessness due to blood clots can signify cancer of the testicle. For some middle-aged or young males, the development of blood clots could be the first indication of cancer of the testicle.
If you’re concerned about the changes you’ve experienced, you should consult your physician. The doctor will inquire about how you’ve experienced the symptom(s) and other inquiries to pinpoint the root of the issue.
If you are diagnosed with cancer, treating symptoms is essential to treatment and care for cancer. This is often referred to as palliative or supportive care, and it’s typically initiated soon after diagnosis and continues throughout the treatment.
Talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms concerning any new symptoms or changes in symptoms.
What factors increase the risk of a man developing cancer of the testicle?
Family background. The sons and brothers of males who have had cancer of the testicle are at a higher risk of developing this cancer. The increased risk is believed to be due to changes in the genes of a specific group.
The term “risk factor” refers to something that can increase the likelihood of becoming cancer-prone. While risk factors can influence cancer growth, the majority are not directly responsible for cancer directly. Certain people who have multiple risk factors don’t get cancer, while those with no risk factors have a chance of developing cancer. Being aware of your risks and speaking regarding them with your physician can help you make better-informed health and lifestyle decisions.
Certain factors may increase the chance of developing cancer in the testicle. But, it is essential to keep in mind that the cause of testicular cancer isn’t identified.
More than half of those diagnosed with cancer of the testicle is between 20 to 45. But, anyone of any age is susceptible to developing this condition, even those in their teens and older, so anyone suffering from symptoms of cancer of the testicle must see a physician.
Cryptorchidism is an undescended testicle, which means that one or both testicles cannot go down into the scrotum before birth. This condition can increase the chance of developing cancer of the testicle. This risk can be decreased by having surgery to treat the problem before puberty. Sure, doctors suggest surgery for cryptorchidism that occurs between 6 months to 15 months to decrease the chance of having infertility. Infertility is the inability of a woman to make children. Since cryptorchidism can be treated early, many people might not be aware of the disorder.
A person who has a close relationship with a relative or sibling who has had testicular cancer is more likely to develop cancer of the testicle.
People who have had cancer on one testicle are more likely to develop cancer on their other testicles. The odds are that, out of 100 people who have testicular cancer, two will develop cancer in the second testicle.
While people of all races are susceptible to developing cancer of the testicle, whites have a higher risk than those who belong to other ethnic groups developing testicular cancer. The incidence of testicular cancer is low among Black people. But, Black patients with
cancer of the testicle are much more likely to suffer from the disease than whites, especially in cases where they have cancer that has spread to lymph nodes and other areas of the body after it is detected.
Human HIV is an immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
People who have HIV (also known as acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) due to HIV have a slightly higher chance of developing seminoma.
Can testicular cancer be completely curable?
Testicular cancer can be treated. Although a diagnosis of cancer is always a serious matter, the good thing about the testicular tumor is that it can be treated effectively in 95percent of cases. If diagnosed early, the chance of cure increases to 98%.