Hey folks. thank you for accepting me on Hives.
So I will be writing on testicular lumps (scary! isn't it?)
“Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself.” as written by J.K. Rowling in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
So I can imagine if one suddenly finds an unexplained lump in the testicle.
I presently have an acquaintance who confided in me about a lump in one of his testicles. of course, I was alarmed too as he is a young pre-graduate man. surprisingly, this lump wasn't painful so all I knew about painful scrotal conditions flew out of the window (viz a viz trauma, infections, and testicular torsion). he was offered antibiotics which didn't resolve the symptom. he was imaged and he has some blood tests done confirming our worst fear was confirmed. he has testicular cancer, and presently undergoing treatment.
Testicular lumps can include testicular infections, torsion of the testis (another post in the future), Spermatocele ( an abnormal accumulation of sperm cells), Hydrocele (an abnormal accumulation of fluid around the testis), and Testicular tumor (cancer).
this post is all about testicular cancers
What is the testis?
The testes are paired organs suspended in the scrotum by their respective cords and they are male organs of reproduction
By Male_anatomy.png: alt.sex FAQderivative work: Tsaitgaist (talk) - *[[:File:Male_anatomy.png|Male_anatomy.png], CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikimedia
These organs are very important to men as elucidated in the level of protection given to them in sports. A senior colleague used to say the testicles are being protected almost 400 years before protection for the brain was conceived.
How common are testicular tumors?
Testicular cancer is the most common solid tumor among males aged 15-34 years. The incidence in the USA is 5.6 / 100,000 persons, and 14.6 cases /100,000 persons aged 30-35years. Incidence is known to be rising.
Testicular cancer can be found in any age group but is mostly seen in male ages 15 and 40 years. Testicular tumors are the most common malignancy in men aged between 19 and 38years. ( my friend is 22 years of age)
What are the predisposing factors?
A lot of factors predispose to this condition with just a few highlighted here.
- Abnormal descent of the testis during development
this is a result of defective development during fetal development
- Family history; there is a high chance of developing testicular cancer if there is a positive family history
What are the symptoms?
Most testicular tumors present as a palpable nodule or painless swelling of the testis, often discovered incidentally by the patient or his sex partner (about 95% of cases)
There may be a complains of a dull sometime unbothering pain in the testis.
Recent history of trauma; it is probably the trauma that leads the man to examine himself and find the tumor rather than being the cause of malignant change.
Symptoms of spread may include back pain, abdominal swelling and these symptoms may be the first noticeable presentations.
How to diagnose testicular tumors?
My best advice is if a suspicious lump is noticed, see a doctor as soon as possible.
A doctor may send you to a specialist who may examine the testis clinically for the characteristic hard lump not separate from the testis.
By BruceBlaus - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, Wikimedia
An ultrasound or a color doppler ultrasound is ordered. Some unique blood tests called tumor markers are done which are raised in patients with this condition. Special tests like computed tomography scans or magnetic resonance imaging evaluate whether there is a spread in the abdomen.
How is it treated?
Testicular cancers have a good prognosis if discovered early.
many are amenable to surgery, what is called a radical orchiectomy
This is followed by Chemotherapy (using special medications to kill the cancer cells) and radiotherapy ( using special radiation to kill the cells)
Treatment of spread is a lot more difficult to accomplish
How to prevent Testicular Cancers?
Unfortunately, there is no documented prevention for testicular cancers however carrying out self-examination of the testis is very important as many of these cancers are painless swollen lumps in the testis.
Dr. Laurence Knott in 'Getting to know your testicles' wrote that 'The best time to feel your testes is after a bath or shower when you are relaxed. Hold each testicle (testis) in turn in the palm of a hand and use your finger and thumb gently to feel the testes and nearby structures.'
What will happen if one testis is removed?
A lot of people are worried about removing a testicle and it's a valid concern but removing one testicle because it has suspicion or confirmed testicular cancer will not reduce libido, erection, or reduce the chances of fertility.
I hope this has helped someone. there are a lot of things science can explain now and I dare you not to be afraid when you find unexplainable symptoms in your body.
I'm open to corrections, discussions, and comments.
I also need your votes.
Thank you, Guys.
Glenn's Urologic Surgery, 6th Edition