What is it?
Testicular Cancer (TC) is a type of cancer that forms in one of the testicles, the male sex glands. Many different types of cancer can occur in the testicle, but the most common type is called germ cell tumors. There are about 8000 new cases of TC each year, but the lifetime risk of developing the disease is roughly 1 in 250. The incidence of TC around the world has basically doubled in the past 30-40 years.
Who can get it?
Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer affecting men between the ages of 15 and 35 years old. But it is not limited to young men. Any male can get it at any age.
What causes it?
No one knows for sure. There are a lot of theories but nothing has been proven conclusively yet. We do know that you can not “catch it” from someone else. There is research that indicates that a boy born with his testes in his lower abdomen rather than the scrotum are at a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.
What are the symptoms when you have it?
- lumps or bumps in either testicle
- testicles that become enlarged
- testicles that abnormally shrink
- testicles that get harder than normal
- a dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin
- pain or discomfort in a testicle or scrotum
- an abnormal amount of fluid collecting in the scrotum
Do these symptoms always mean you have cancer?
Absolutely not! These symptoms could be caused by other conditions happening in your body. But they should not be overlooked or dismissed without consulting a physician, preferably a urologist.
How is it usually discovered?
Most of the time it is discovered by men themselves. Sometimes it is through self-examination or many times they are being checked by a physician because of some non-related reason.
Can you examine yourself?
The self-examination is quite simple. For a complete discussion of this process and simple instructions just click here to learn how to self-examine.
Can it be treated and cured?
Yes! Testicular cancer is almost always curable if it is found early. Generally 90% of men that are diagnosed with TC are cured. The treatment for TC is chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, surveillance, or a combination of these treatments.
What do I do if I think I have symptoms?
Don’t panic. But it is important to see a doctor, preferably a urologist as soon as possible. Remember, the earlier the disease is diagnosed and treated the better chance there is for a complete and healthy recovery.
Are there any famous people or celebrities that have had Testicular Cancer?
Yes, these are just some of the famous people or celebrities that have had testicular cancer:
- Louie Aguiar – former NFL football player
- Lance Armstrong – professional cyclist and winner of the Tour De France
- Richard Belzer – actor and comedian most recognizable from Law & Order: SVU
- Josh Bidwell – NFL football player currently playing for the Washington Redskins
- Peter DiStefano – former guitarist for the rock band “Porno for Pyros”
- Trevor Dodds – PGA professional golfer
- Mike Gallego – former MLB baseball player and current MLB coach
- Tom Green – comedian and MTV personality
- Scott Hamilton – Olympic gold medalist in figure skating
- Darrin Jackson – former MLB baseball player
- John Kruk – former MLB baseball player and current baseball analyst for ESPN
- Mike Lowell – MLB baseball player currently playing for the Boston Red Sox
- Bob Losure – former CNN Headline News anchor
- Brian Piccolo – former NFL football player
- Steve Scott – world record holder runner
- Dan Turk – former NFL football player
- Butch Walts – former professional tennis player
- Matthew Ward – Christian music singing artist and songwriter