Testicular cancer is rare but is the most common type of cancer in younger men. It occurs when abnormal cells grow rapidly in the testicles, most frequently starting in the cells that produce sperm. The cause of testicular cancer is unknown, but many experts feel that medical problems such as undescended testicles or having an extra “X” chromosome (Klinefelter’s Syndrome) may increase a man’s chances of developing testicular cancer.
If the skin changes are cancerous, early detection offers the best chance for treatment. Your urologist will probably begin by treating the area of concern with an antibacterial or antifungal ointment. If the growths or areas do not heal or recur, your urologist may remove a tiny sample of the tissue to study it for signs of cancer.
If cancer is confirmed and the tumor is small, it may be treatable with a topical cream that has minimal side effects. If the lesion is larger, but still limited to about pea-size, your doctor may shave layers of abnormal tissue until normal tissue is reached. Long-term side effects from these types of treatments are rare, although regular monitoring for recurrence is important.
With larger lesions, it is necessary to remove greater amounts of tissue. In these circumstances, a combination of surgery, radiation and chemotherapy may be necessary.
How old are men who get testicular cancer?
It occurs most frequently in men between the ages of 20 – 35, though it can happen at any age.
Is heredity a factor?
It appears that family history is an indicator of a higher than normal likelihood of developing testicular cancer.
If I have testicular cancer, am I infertile?
It is rare for testicular cancer to cause a man to be sterile; however, it may cause lower than normal sperm counts. As part of the discussion with your urologist, you should talk about your desire for children in the future since sperm banks can offer a reasonable option for some men.