Testicular cancer is a frightening condition for men and their loved ones. Most often it is diagnosed in young men who are typically not expected to be faced with a diagnosis of cancer. It is actually the most common cancer in young men in Canada. It is also one of the most curable cancers.

The testicles are the main male reproductive organs located in the scrotum and are illustrated in the figure. Testicular cancer occurs when cancer cells develop in one or both testicles. It is usually diagnosed after pain, dull ache, heaviness, lump or swelling is noticed in the testicle.

There are many factors that are considered when deciding treatment for your testicular cancer.

Info & statistics

Let’s not kid ourselves, it is always difficult to talk about testicles. Especially when there is something not right, especially when we are young. That is most likely why testicular cancer remains relatively unknown. Where does it come from? Why? How does it spread? What are metastasis? We will tell it all.

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Signs & symptoms

If detected on time, testicular cancer is one of the easiest types of cancer to treat. So there is nothing mysterious about it: self-examination can work wonders. So relax, feel your balls and do it once a month. To top it all off, it feels good. But what should you be looking for exactly?

Of all cancers that affect men, testicular cancer is the one that has the highest cure rate.

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How is testicular cancer treated?

The information provided below is a general overview of the treatment of testicular cancer and is not intended to provide medical advice for any one individual patient.

It is intended to help provide you and your family with information so you can make informed decisions, together with your doctor. Your doctor may have reasons for suggesting a treatment plan different from these general treatment options. Don’t hesitate to ask him or her questions about your treatment options.

In recent years, a lot of progress has been made in treating testicular cancer. To get a diagnosis, the testicle with the tumour in it is usually surgically removed. After that, your doctor may recommend surveillance (no other treatments unless the cancer recurs), more surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. Some people will require more than one type of treatment.

You may have different types of doctors on your treatment team, depending on the stage of your cancer and your treatment options. These doctors may include:
• An urologist: a surgeon who specializes in treating diseases of the urinary system and male reproductive system,
• A radiation oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with radiation therapy,
• A medical oncologist: a doctor who treats cancer with medicines such as chemotherapy.
Many other specialists might be involved in your care as well, including physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, physical therapists, social workers, and other health professionals.
It is important to discuss all of your treatment options as well as their possible side effects with your doctors to help make the decision that is best for you. (See the section “What should you ask your doctor about testicular cancer?” for some questions to ask.) In some situations, obtaining a a second opinion in a center that treats many complex testicular cancer patients may be a good idea. . In some cases, where you are treated is important especially with poor risk disease or in those needing further surgery after the testicle is removed. . The next few sections describe the different types of treatments used for testicular cancers. This is followed by a discussion of the most common treatment options, based on the type and extent of the disease.

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Psychological aspects

Cancer can affect your appearance, how you feel and how your body functions. It can also have major psychological impacts – it affects your emotions, your relationships, your projects for the future. Some men go through their treatment and find that their life hasn’t changed that much. Others however find that cancer is the biggest challenge they have ever faced. Everyone’s experience is different.

This section aims to provide guidance, and you can always contact us if you feel the need to do so.

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Sexuality & fertility

When you think testicular cancer, you think sexuality. It’s rather logical. We might as well put your concerns at rest right now – no, testicular cancer does not have a direct impact on erections. Whew!! However, the disease can impact your sexuality and your fertility. This section provides truths and facts.

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Helpling a diagnosed loved one

It is normal to want to help a loved one who is facing this disease. But understanding that person, providing care and support is a difficult, demanding job that requires tons of empathy, calm and adjustments to your daily life.

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Sharing your story means breaking down those taboos, it means helping others feel they are not alone in this. That is why we encourage men who have been diagnosed or who are concerned about the disease to share their stories with us.

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