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Testicular Cancer Treatment Abroad
Testicles are, along with the penis and the prostate, the main part of the male reproductive system. They are contained in the scrotum and produce testosterone as well as sperm. Testicular cancer may present no symptoms at all, but the most recurrent symptom of this disease is a hard lump forming either on the outside or inside of the testicle. This lump is usually distinguishable and rarely painful. An enlargement of the testicle can be considered as another cancer symptom. If the testicular cancer is painful, it could be accompanied by a dull ache or a feeling of heaviness, and eventually a feeling of discomfort in the lower abdomen area. In some rare instances, testis cancer can lead to an abnormal growth of the male breasts, because the testicles are producing an abnormal level of hormones.
If any of these symptoms are experienced a doctor needs to be contacted as soon as possible, as there are many other reasons why the patient can experience these symptoms without having cancer. Self-examination is considered to be one of the first and most important steps in the diagnosis. Men should perform a testicular self-exam once a month in order to detect if any growth or swelling is present, by gently rolling the testicles with the fingers to check if there are any changes. To do this evaluation is usually quite easy and specialists advise that it is performed during a shower or a bath. Further tests usually involve an ultrasound CT scan, which can easily detect if there is any growth or tumor in the testicles.
Blood tests can also help the diagnosis, as high levels of certain proteins can be present. A biopsy may also be carried out, which involves the surgical removal of a small section of the lump which will be then sent to a laboratory to look for cancerous cells. However, testicular biopsy is considered by many surgeons as quite risky, as the cut performed could help to spread the cancer further. It is performed only when blood tests and CT scans can't confirm the presence of cancer.
Which Testicular Cancer treatments are available abroad?
There are different options to treat testicular cancer, and the surgical removal of the testicle is typically the first and most effective method. This procedure is called radical inguinal orchiectomy and is performed to make sure that all the malignant cells are removed from the testis area. In some cases the removal of the lymph nodes behind the abdomen is necessary, depending how deep the cancer has spread. If only one testicle has to be removed, there will not be changes in the sexual life of the patient.
If both testicles need to be removed, effects on the sexual function and fertility will be inevitable, but is also possible to freeze the sperm before of removing the testis. Prosthetic testicles are often provided, to help the patient not to feel self conscious regarding the appearance of the scrotum. Other treatments include: Radiotherapy , which can be either external in combination with Chemotherapy or either performed locally with a Brachytherapy , which can also be used in case of prostate cancer. For more information, read our Guide to Testicular Cancer Treatment .,
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