Testicular Cancer (Germ Cell Tumors)

  • Overview

  • Symptoms

  • Diagnosis

  • Treatment

Overview

Germ cells refer in the testicles that produce the sperm and this most of the testicular cancers originate. However, these tumours can also be found in some other regions of the body even when there is no evidence of cancer in or around the testicles. The most common germ cell tumours are: Seminomas, which are curable in the early stages. Nonseminomas are more aggressive and more likely to metastasise.

Early Symptoms

The most common manifestations of testicular cancer are pain or a painless swelling or lump in the testicles. If you have any of these, please consult a doctor immediately. Less common signs are:

  • Pain in the groin or lower abdomen
  • Tenderness in the breast region
  • Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Back pain

Diagnosis

  • Examination of testicles and abdomen
  • Blood tests
  • Imaging tests
  • Biopsy

Treatment

Surgery: For early stage, localized testicular cancer, a radical orchiectomy, in which the affected testicle is removed, is the best form of treatment.

Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection (RPLND): If the tumour is likely to spread, or has already metastasised to the lymph nodes, RPLND may be recommended to remove the affected nodes.

Chemotherapy: Advanced-stage testicular cancer or a tumour which is likely to spread can be effectively treated with a number of chemotherapy drugs. It can also prevent the return of the cancer.

Radiation Therapy: In rare cases, radiation therapy is given to kill stray cells in advanced seminoma, or cancer, which has spread beyond the testicles.