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Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is cancer of the testicles—the organs that produce male sex hormones (testosterone) and sperm for reproduction. It is often detected by the patient noticing a lump or some swelling in the testicle. The cancer will spread if left untreated.

Testicular Cancer Symptoms

The three stages of testicular cancer are:

  • Stage 1: The cancer is found in only one testicle
  • Stage 2: The cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the stomach
  • Stage 3: The cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the lungs or liver

A painless, growing mass in the scrotum is one of the most common signs of testicular cancer emerging. Consult a urologist if you are experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Pain in the scrotum
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the groin
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle
  • A lump or enlargement in either testicle
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts

In most cases, only one testicle is affected. 1% - 3% of cancers occur in both testicles.

Causes of Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer typically occurs when cells in a testicle develop abnormalities, and the growth gets out of control. Accumulating cancerous cells then begin to form a mass or tumour in the testicles. Conditions linked to testicular cancer are:

  • History of undescended testis: An undescended testis has a 3%-5% chance of developing cancer, with the risk increasing the higher the testis location
  • Previous testicular cancer in the other testis
  • Family history of testicular cancer
  • Poorly developed testes associated with an intersex disorder

Testicular Cancer Diagnosis

A scrotal ultrasound is used to visualise the tumour in the testicles. If cancer is suspected, the following tests are needed:

  • Blood tests to check for tumour markers and red blood cell count. Kidney and liver function tests are also part of the blood tests.
  • CT scan of the abdomen and pelvis to check if cancer has spread to the abdominal lymph nodes.
  • Chest X-ray or CT scan to look for spread of cancer to the lungs.

Testicular Cancer Treatment Options

  • Radical Orchiectomy: A surgical procedure in which the entire spermatic cord and testicle are removed through a small incision made in the lower abdomen. After removal of the testicle, some patients may be suitable for surveillance with regular scans, blood tests, and physical examinations, especially if the cancer is still in the early stages.
  • Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection (RPLND): A treatment option used to remove abdominal lymph nodes to treat testicular cancer and help establish its exact stage and type. A large incision is made in the middle of the abdomen to remove the lymph nodes.
  • Chemotherapy: The use of drugs to destroy cancer cells for testicular cancers that are more advanced.
  • Radiotherapy: The use of high-energy x-rays or other particles to destroy cancer cells.

Why should you choose Dr Colin Teo to perform testicular cancer treatment?

Dr Colin Teo is the Founding Head of Khoo Teck Puat Hospital’s Urology Department, with years of experience in minimally invasive keyhole surgery, operating with precision surgical techniques. Many fellows have trained under his mentorship. He did a Fellowship in EndoLaparoscopy and Andrology at St James’ Hospital in Leeds, UK and was sponsored for a Senior Healthcare Medical Development Program (HMDP) in Advanced Laparoscopic and Robotic Surgery at University of Southern California (USC) Keck Hospital in Los Angeles, USA. Dr Teo is also the President of the Society for Men’s Health.

Seek recommendations on suitable treatment options for testicular cancer with Colin Teo Urology. Contact us to book an appointment today.