Macmillan Cancer Support Around 2,000 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer in the UK each year. It usually affects young or middle aged men. The most common types of testicular cancer are seminomas and non-seminomatous germ cell tumours, which are also known as teratomas. Treatment for testicular cancer is very effective, and nearly all men are cured. Symptoms
swelling or a lump in a testicle, which is usually painless – occasionally the swelling may suddenly increase in size and become painful pain or heaviness in the scrotum.
If the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts of the body there may be some of the following symptoms:
pain in the back, groin, or lower abdomen – this can be caused by the spread of the cancer to lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen a cough or breathlessness if lymph nodes in the chest area are affected, or rarely if the cancer has spread to the lungs nipple/breast tenderness or breast swelling (gynaecomastia) – this isn’t common but can be caused by hormones produced by the cancer.
Treatment Overview For some men surgery to remove the testicle (orchidectomy) may be the only treatment needed. You’ll be asked to come back to clinic regularly to have tumour markers measured (if the cancer produces markers) and tests. This is called surveillance. If the cancer comes back it’ll be picked up early, and treatment can cure it. Attending your surveillance appointments is very important. If you move house, make sure the hospital knows your new address. Often men have surgery followed by treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy. This is known as adjuvant treatment. It is given to reduce the small risk of cancer coming back. If you have a teratoma you’ll usually have two sessions of adjuvant chemotherapy. The size of the tumour, how it looks under the microscope, and tumour marker levels (if present) help doctors to decide if you need adjuvant treatment. If you have a seminoma you’ll usually be offered a single dose of adjuvant chemotherapy. Or you can have radiotherapy to the lymph nodes at the back of the abdomen; both these treatments seem equally effective. You’ll probably want to discuss the side effects and how the individual treatments are likely to affect your day-to-day life.