Testicular Cancer Treatment in Tucson, AZ
Testicular cancer is a highly treatable cancer that occurs mainly in young men between the ages of 15-35. It can develop in one or both testicles and is rare compared with other types of cancers.
The testes, located in the scrotum, produce sex hormones and generate sperm for reproduction. Testicular cancer can be easily detected using a safe and effective testicular ultrasound if symptoms present themselves.
Young men should perform monthly self-exams as a screening tool. While in the shower and using your thumb and forefinger, look for any changes in shape, any lumps or nodules, unusual firmness, or tenderness.
Are You at Risk For Testicular Cancer?
Although this is a relatively rare cancer, you should be aware of the risk factors. Some of these risk factors include:
- A family history of testicular cancer
- A previous diagnosis
- History of undescended testicles that occurs at birth affecting about 3-4% of male babies.
- Certain genetic disorders such as Down Syndrome
- Men with HIV
What are the Tests for Testicular Cancer Diagnosis?
To properly diagnose testicular cancer, doctors will conduct a brief exam of your testicles, take a standard blood sample, and do an ultrasound of the testicles. In more detail, this process is outlined below:
- The doctor will examine the testicles by feeling around the area for lumps or swelling.
- Blood will be taken in order for the doctor to examine your protein cells which then are examined separately to spot signs of testicular cancer.
- If the blood shows possible signs of testicular cancer, the doctor will administer an ultrasound where they take a very brief and painless scan of your testicles.
At this point, you will be recommended to a urologist who specializes in the treatment of testicular cancer. The urologist will perform a biopsy of the testicle and if they find cancerous cells, doctors will recommend it be removed as soon as possible. If, however, results are positive for a condition not related to testicular cancer, the urologist can place the testicle back inside of the scrotum.
It’s also very important to determine whether or not it has had time to spread to another part of the body. To test this, doctors will administer a CT scan to confirm this it has not spread.
What Are My Testicular Cancer Treatment Options?
Depending on the type and stage of the cancer (among other factors), doctors can treat testicular cancer in a few different forms:
- Surgery– Usually a first choice from patients, this typically involves doctors making a small incision to the scrotum to remove the cancerous testicle. Then, the vas-deferens are tied together to ensure that the cancer does not spread, and then the scrotum is sewn back to normal. This is called a radical inguinal orchiectomy.
- Chemotherapy– This type of treatment uses swallowable pills or injection-based medicine to target the cancer. Usually, this treatment is provided through IV and fed through the veins.
- Radiation– This treatment involves energy radiation beams that are designed to target and kill the cancerous cells or at least slow them from spreading.
- Stem cell transplant and high-dose chemotherapy regimens– When chemotherapy is not effective or does not eliminate the cancer completely, doctors will administer higher doses of chemotherapy to fully remove it.