Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in men from 15 to 40 years of age, but it can occur at any age. The good news is that testicular cancer is very treatable and has a high cure rate.
We talked with CU Medicine Urologist, Dr. David Sobel, about the risk of developing testicular cancer
Who is at risk of developing testicular cancer?
Having a family history of testicular cancer, especially in a father or brother puts men at a higher risk.
Men who were born with cryptorchidism, a condition in which one or both testicles don’t descend into their normal place in the scrotum, are also at risk, “If I have a patient who as a child underwent surgery to reposition the testicle, they are at an increased risk for testicular cancer,” explained Sobel.
To reduce the risk of testicular cancer, men should do regular monthly self-exams and notify their doctor of any concerning changes.
Any lump, swelling, or unusual sensation in the testicle should lead to an exam by a physician followed by an ultrasound.
Treatment of Testicular Cancer
If a concerning mass or lesion is found the first step is to go to surgery and it’s usually to remove the testicle. Sobel doesn’t want this to scare men from speaking up when they notice something, “The vast majority of workups for masses within the scrotum are not testicular cancer.”
Chemotherapy or radiation may also be necessary when treating testicular cancer depending on the type and stage of the cancer, “We work hand in hand with our medical oncologists, we also work very closely with radiation oncologists if that’s needed, there’s a wonderful team approach here,” Sobel explained.
Testicular cancer is treatable and has a favorable outlook, “We are seeing cure rates up over 98 percent. This is a cancer if we catch it, and we diagnose it, and we treat it, we cure our patients,” added Sobel.