It is important that men learn how to examine their testicles for lumps. If a man examines his testicles on a monthly basis, chances are he will be able to catch any abnormalities that may appear in the testicles.
The best chance for a complete recovery from testicular cancer is to catch it early. Testicular cancer can be easily treated if it has not spread to other parts of the body.
When cancer breaks away from the tumor and travels to other major organs such as the lungs and kidneys, this is called metastasis. Treating metastatic cancer is more involved than treating a tumor in the testicle that has not spread.
Cancer can spread from the testicles to other parts of the body via the lymph nodes. The cancer cells can be deposited into the lungs or the liver and start growing out of control.
Symptoms of metastases may be pain in the lower back, cough and trouble breathing. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, your doctor will begin to order tests to find out the cause of the symptoms.
The doctor may order an x-ray or a CT of the chest to look for tumors in the lungs. He may order blood tests such as alpha-fetoprotein or beta-human chorionic gonadotropin. These are substances that are sometimes manufactured by tumors. The levels of these substances in your blood will determine how much cancer you may have in your body.
Treatment for metastatic testicular cancer will vary. It depends on what part of the body the cancer has traveled to and how much cancer there is.
One treatment for testicular cancer is called an orchiectomy. This is the removal of the cancerous testicle. The surgeon may also remove the lymph nodes in surrounding area of the lower spine. The cancer can use these lymph nodes as a passageway to the rest of the body. By removing the lymph nodes, it will decrease the risk of the cancer spreading to other major organs.
Depending on the extent of metastasis, your doctor may use radiation to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy is used in metastatic cancer treatments also. Chemotherapy kills cancer cells and testicular cancer cells have been known to respond very well to chemotherapy.
The cure rate for men with metastatic testicular cancer is very high. It is estimated that eighty percent of men who are diagnosed with metastatic testicular cancer will have a complete recovery. They will stay cancer free for the rest of their lives.
National Cancer Institute: Stage III Testicular Cancer
Proceedings of the National academy of Sciences: Curing Metastatic Testicular Cancer
International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association: Surgical Therapy for Testicular Cancer Metastatic to the Liver
Cancer.net: Testicular Cancer
Cancer REsearch UK: Testicular Cancer Survival Statistics
Cleveland Clinic: Understand Your Options for Testicular Cancer Treatment
Japanese Journal of Clinical Oncology: A Case of Metastatic Testicular Cancer Complicated by Tumour Lysis Syndrome and Choriocarcinoma Syndrome
American Cancer Society: Testicular Cancer
Expert Opinion on Pharmacotherapy: Pharmacotherapy of Relapsed Metastatic Testicular Cancer
Cleveland Clinic: Testicular Cancer
American Family Physician: Testicular Cancer