Living with Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer is cancer of the testicles, the glands that produce sperm and testosterone in men. The most common testicular cancers are germ cell tumors, which start in the cells that make sperm and account for more than 90% of cases. Though it is the most commonly occurring cancer in men 15 to 34 years old, testicular cancer is fairly rare: only 8,600 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year. The disease is highly treatable with a five-year survival rate of approximately 95%.
In addition to mainly affecting young men, risk factors for developing testicular cancer include: having had an undescended testicle after birth; other abnormal testical development; a family history of testicular cancer; and being Caucasian. Symptoms include swelling, lumps, or fluid build-up in the in testicles. Occasionally, patients will feel pain or discomfort in the testicular or groin area. The stages of testicular cancer range from I to III, depending on tumor size and if it has spread. Testicular cancer treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, or a combination of these. Infertility may be a side-effect of testicular cancer treatment, and patients who wish to father children at a later date are encouraged to bank sperm before treatment.
For more information on testicular cancer, read the American Cancer Society's detailed guide.
If you have been affected by testicular cancer, please be sure to take some time to read others' experiences, share your own experiences, and ask or answer questions. Don't forget to view our Beginner's Guide to Cancer.