Testicular cancer is uncommon and usually occurs in young men.
About Testicular Cancer
It is usually diagnosed when the patient finds a lump on their testicle; for this reason it is very important that patients get used to performing regular testicular self-examination. Common non-cancerous causes of lumps in the scrotum include a hydrocele and an epididymal cyst.
However all lumps in the testicle need urgent assessment, to rule out the possibility of a testicular tumour.
There has been remarkable improvement in the treatment of testicular cancer, and nowadays the great majority of men can be cured with treatment.
Orchid exists to save men’s lives from testicular, prostate and penile cancers through pioneering research and promoting awareness.
Testicular Tumours produce a painless swelling of the testicle – although pain can be a feature in some men.
"The treatment I received at Bristol Urology was outstanding. From the initial consultation through to my procedure I always felt that I was in safe hands."
Excellent as always!
Diagnosis and Treatment
After an examination of your testicles, if a tumour is suspected, your BUA urologist will offer you an ultrasound scan of the scrotum and request blood tests. The ultrasound scan can often be performed straightaway during your consultation at the BUA clinic.
You will also be referred to the Spire or Nuffield Hospitals for a CT scan for further information about the tumour.
The only sure way of diagnosing testicular cancer is to remove the testicle with an operation so that it can then be examined under the microscope. This operation is called an orchidectomy and will require a general anaesthetic. Recovery is quick and only 2 weeks convalescence at home is generally required. You will not need to stay in hospital overnight after your operation.
Following surgery, your BUA consultant will refer you to a clinical oncologist
who is a specialist who provides treatment and ongoing review for men with testicular cancer. Depending on the type of tumour and on whether it has spread, the oncologist may recommend further treatment with either chemotherapy or radiotherapy. It is important to remember that nowadays most testicular cancers can be cured (over 95% cure rate), but that careful follow-up and sticking to the advised treatment is essential. In some men several types of treatment may be needed.
Certain treatments, particularly radiotherapy, may affect your fertility. In some cases this may be permanent and arrangements can be made to freeze and store sperm before treatment commences. This can then be used for artificial insemination at a later date.
All patients require very careful follow up for at least 5 years and sometimes for life.