Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is relatively rare (accounting for approximately 1% of male cancers) though as with a number of other cancers, the incidence of it is on the rise for reasons that are still not fully understood. While there are several types of testicular cancer, the majority are so called germ cell cancers (seminoma and non-seminoma) similar to ovarian cancer in women. Although these can occur in men of all ages, it is perhaps unusual in tending to affect men under 50 more than over 50 and indeed it is the most common cancer in younger men.

For reasons that are unclear, white men have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer than men from other ethnic groups. Other risk factors include previous undescended testes, fertility issues, previous testicular cancer, calcium specks within your testes (micolithiasis) and a family history of testicular cancer.

Although aggressive if it develops, early detection and intervention is highly successful with around 95% of men surviving past 5 years. Treatment involves removal of the affected testis (occasionally both) although occasionally and in more advanced disease, additional chemotherapy treatment may be required.

Fortunately, screening for testicular cancer is straightforward with ultrasound scanning showing up any abnormalities very clearly.