By Roz Jones
As we continue with our men’s health awareness month. We continue to tackle those areas that men normally don’t discuss. Common to men who are young to middle age, testicular cancer is curable if detected early. However, if untreated it can spread to the lymph nodes in the abdomen, chest; neck; and finally to the lungs. There seems to be no connection between the two testicles and thus the disease is unlikely to spread from one to the other.
The symptom of testicular cancer is the detection of a lump in the testicle. Because the lump grows slowly, you may not be aware of it. Therefore, you need to perform a self-examination of the testicles regularly. After a bath or shower, hold each testicle with both hands and gently roll it between your fingers and thumb. Feel the surface of each testicle to search for any lump or swelling. If you find a lump or swelling, call for an appointment to see your physician.
Also noteworthy to mention is that swelling in the scrotum may not signify any danger. There is often small, insignificant swelling that occurs. However, a lump that is detected in the testicle is a matter that does require a biopsy.
If it is determined you have cancer of the testicle, surgery would be required to remove the diseased testicle. You need not worry about fertility or potency, as the other testicle is fully functioning. In addition, radiation or chemotherapy may be required as well. Moreover, if cancer has advanced to the lymph nodes, surgery would need to be performed to remove the nearby lymph nodes for further examination.
It should also be noted that there are other conditions that may cause lumps in the testicle. For example cysts, inflammation, or physical injury may cause fluid to build up in or around the testicles. So too, enlarged veins can cause swelling in the scrotum. A bacterial infection may cause inflammation of the testicle; or in some cases, having the mumps can also be a contributing factor. If you detect any abnormality, check with your doctor just to be safe.
While the cause of testicular cancer is not known, there are certain measures you can take to maintain your health and immune system after surgery. A diet filled with protein is essential; exercise regularly; and avoid stress.
When anyone hears the word “cancer,” it is most difficult to deal with; not just the word itself, but the anticipation of not knowing what may eventually occur. Cancer research has produced amazing results, and there is no reason to think that testicular cancer – when caught early enough – can’t be treated. For men especially, testicular cancer has different connotations which invite denial; worry; and questions about the ability to perform.
Once again, having testicular cancer neither makes you infertile nor impotent. Once you remove negative thoughts from your mind, you are well on your way to physical, mental, and emotional good health.
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