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Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a disease of young men. It is rare in men above age 45 and peaks between the ages of 18 to 25. Overall, testicular cancer is uncommon, but it is the most common cancer diagnosed in young men. Testicular cancer serves as a model of cancer treatment and represents a true success story. It is cured at a high rate.

For most men, testicular cancer is identified when an abnormality is detected within a testicle. It typically is not painful and often ignored until it becomes rather large. A testicular abnormality in a young man is considered to be cancer unless the physician can prove otherwise. The initial treatment involves removal of the testicle. Typically, the other testicle is fine and will take over the work of the one that was removed.

After removal of the testicle, multiple options for treatment are available, once again depending on the characteristics of that particular man’s disease. Medicine has figured this disease out, and we know what it takes to accomplish cure. The treatment of testicular cancer is clear cut, involving additional surgery to remove lymph nodes and/or chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or, in some circumstances, close observation. Even in men with high volume, extensive disease, cures frequently occur. Fewer than 400 men die from testicular cancer in the United States each year. This represents less than 5% of the men diagnosed with prostate cancer each year and equates to a 98% cure rate.

Chemotherapy for testicular cancer is difficult. Similarly, lymph node removal for testicular cancer is a formidable procedure, particularly when performed after a man has received chemotherapy. A high degree of expertise is necessary to safely and effectively perform this surgery. The good news is that most of the time the patients are healthy young men whose ability to recover rapidly is still present. As men get older, the recovery from this is exponentially more difficult. Once again, surgeon experience matters. To learn more about testicular cancer check out some of these links: