About this disease
What it is about
About 95 percent of tumors are located in the testis, more rarely outside the testis or on both sides. Risk factors for testicular cancer are the presence of testicular cancer in male relatives or a so-called undescended testicle, in which the testicle has not migrated into the scrotum during the development phase and is located in the groin region. The chances of curing testicular cancer are very high.
In tissue examination, a distinction is made between so-called seminomas and non-seminomatous germ cell tumors, which differ greatly in appearance. Pathological cell changes that precede the testicular tumor are called testicular intraepithelial neoplasia (TIN). These are occasionally found in tissue samples from the opposite testis in testicular cancer.
Symptoms and consequences
Already at an early stage, testicular cancer causes symptoms such as a non-painful enlargement of the testicles, swelling or a delineable induration. At a more advanced stage and much less frequently, symptoms include back pain, shortness of breath or unwanted weight loss - usually only when distant offshoots, so-called metastases, have developed in the lymph nodes, lungs or liver.
What we do for you
Examination and diagnosis
An ultrasound examination of both testicles can confirm the suspicion raised in the clinical examination. A blood test is also necessary, as there are typical tumor markers in the blood (AFP, beta-HCG, LDH). To determine the stage of the disease extension in lymph nodes or other organs, a computer tomography (CT) of lungs, abdomen and pelvic region is performed. If chemotherapy becomes necessary in the course of the disease, sperm cryopreservation can be performed if the patient wishes to have children at a later stage.
With a unilateral operation via the groin, the affected testicle is removed (orchiectomy). The tissue is analyzed in the laboratory, where the tissue subtype and the spread to the vessels or the spermatic cord can be determined. Further therapy depends on the stage and type, tumor size and tumor markers in the blood. After surgery, radiation therapy of the lymph nodes in the pelvic/abdominal cavity or chemotherapy may be necessary. Subsequent follow-up by the urologist is important.