Testicular Cancer – Your Questions Answered
As one of the most survivable forms of cancer, the threat of testicular cancer doesn't tend to raise as much awareness in the male community – due perhaps to the embarrassment factor which some men would rather not face up to.
However, it’s important for men to address the issue and – although non-preventable – regular self-checks mean that any sign that something is wrong can be swiftly dealt with and, if necessary, treated accordingly. The necessary removal of a testicle during treatment will affect men’s chances of having children.
Regular Self Checks Are Necessary
If something doesn’t feel as it should in your testicular region – either with an unusual lump on one of your testicles or a general heavy or dull feeling in the scrotum – it’s time to get yourself checked out. The odds of a cancerous growth are low – only 4% of testicular growths turn out to be malignant, while 95% of men who are diagnosed at an early stage can be completely cured – but the treatment is unpleasant.
In more advanced cases, surgical removal of the affected testicle is necessary, while other cases will involve radiotherapy and chemotherapy - both of which can cause nausea in patients. Chemo can also lead to hair loss, while radiotherapy will affect your skin. Once treatment has ceased, the side effects will wane and eventually stop altogether.
Due to the intensity of treatment, any of them can affect a man’s chances of conceiving a child; your doctor can advise you on the best steps to take – some men might prefer to visit a sperm bank ahead of treatment just in case. It’s not all bad news though – even with the removal of a testicle, your sex life shouldn’t be physically impacted once you’ve recovered from surgery. The emotional side could be a whole different story though, so it’s best to talk it through with someone.