Testicular Cancer: Curing the Most Common Young Men's Cancer
Testicular cancer is not generally in the news unless someone famous gets it. Actors and athletes, all in the public eye, have found their young lives turned upside down. Fortunately, in most cases, the cancer was caught early enough to for them to get back in the game. The good news is that testicular cancer is relatively rare (about 1% of all male cancers). Even better, it is curable. In fact, if it is detected early, the 5-year survival rate is 85%-90%, but early detection in the key.Most young people do not think about things like cancer. It is likely that if you are unaware of it, you are unlikely to take early signs seriously. This can lead to a delay in diagnosis and treatment, which may reduce your chances of a cure. Whatever your age, learn about your risk for testicular cancer, how to detect it early, and how it is treated.
Risk and SymptomsThere is no definitive cause of this cancer, but there are certain factors that may put some men at higher risk. Men who have an undescended testicle are at the highest risk for this type of cancer. Other factors include a family history and problems with infertility. Testicular cancer is most common in young men aged 18-35 years, but it can occur at any age.Testicular tumors almost always derive from the sperm-producing cells of the testes, called germ cells. The tumors here are almost always malignant. Unlike benign tumors, malignant tumors can invade and destroy the body's tissues and travel to other parts of the body. In advanced stages, testicular cancer can travel to the abdomen, the chest, or the brain. There are two major classes of testicular tumors:
- Seminomas—Tumors in this class grow more slowly.
- Nonseminoma—These tumors tend to grow and spread more quickly.