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Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the formation of cancerous cells in the testicles, typically occurring in younger men. It is highly treatable, especially when it is detected at an early stage. Regular testicle exams are recommended to detect it early.

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer does not always produce symptoms. The most common symptom is a lump or mass in the testicles or scrotum. The mass is usually firm and may be painful.

Promptly contact your doctor if you experience any pain or discomfort in the testicles or feel a lump during a self-exam.

Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer

While the cause of testicular cancer is not known, the following factors increase your risk:

  • Younger age: Young men aged 18 to 35 are at the highest risk.
  • An undescended testicle, called cryptorchidism
  • Klinefelter syndrome, where an extra X chromosome may result in smaller testicles, undescended testicles, less testosterone, male breast development, and other problems
  • Family or personal history of testicular cancer
  • Race: Caucasian men are at higher risk.

Diagnosing Testicular Cancer

After taking your medical history and performing a physical examination, your doctor may order an ultrasound to further evaluate the testicles. He may also order blood tests to check for tumor markers in order to further test for malignancies.

If diagnosed with cancer, it will be staged to determine if the cancer has spread and to help determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Treatment for Testicular Cancer

The treatment of testicular cancer depends on the stage of the disease. The treatment options include:

  • Inguinal testicle removal, the removal of the testicle and the spermatic cord
  • Radiation therapy, which uses high-energy X-rays to shrink tumors and destroy cancer cells
  • Chemotherapy, uses drugs to destroy cancer cells
  • Retroperitoneal lymphadenectomy, a form of surgery to remove lymph nodes to diagnose, stage, or cure the spread of testicular cancer

Most of the time, cancer is found in only one testicle, and the other testicle still works well. Removing one testicle should not cause erection problems (ED) or cause infertility. In most cases, the healthy testicle that is left should be able to make all the testosterone the body requires.

Miami urologist Dr. Marvin Bondhus diagnoses and treats testicular cancer in our South Miami office. For a consultation, call (305) 661-9692 or request an appointment online.