The testicles—or testes—are a part of the male reproductive system and are responsible for producing and regulating sperm and testosterone, a male hormone. There are a variety of cells that are involved in the testicles’ formation. So, what is testicular cancer? What should I know about it? How does cancer affect a man’s ability to procreate?

What Is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer can develop in cells of either one or both testicles. In males, the testes form the primary part of the reproductive system, and they hang outside of the body, behind the penis and provide the semen that men ejaculate on orgasm. Because the testicles’ formation involves a variety of cells, the development of tumors is complicated. So, treatment methods vary for each.

Even so, the majority of testicular cancers start as germ cell tumors: seminomas and nonseminomas. However, the third kind of tumor is stromal tumors. Another factor causing testicular cancer can also be the spread of secondary tumors. In the event of the latter, a person’s body may already be weak due to ongoing treatment, thus requiring different methods of treatment. Still, here are some facts that each man should know.

What You Should Know

  1. Testicular cancer is infrequent in men. On average a man’s risk of getting testicular cancer is as low as 0.4%. In the US, about 8,850 new cases surface each year.
  2. Almost 90% of the time, testicular cancer appears as a lump in the testicle.
  3. Unfortunately, studies claim that testicular cancer is more common among Caucasian males as compared to men of African or Asian descent.
  4. Testicular cancer primarily affects men between ages 20 and 35, when they are most fertile.
  5. Undescended testicles, also known as cryptorchidism, may be one of the leading contributing factors to testicular cancer.
  6. Men may be at higher risk for testicular cancer development if they are born with Klinefelter’s Syndrome or testicular, penis abnormalities.
  7. There is approximately a 90% survival rate for testicular cancer, and the rate is 100% if the tumor has not spread throughout the body.
  8. The majority of testicular tumors are not cancerous; therefore, they rarely spread beyond the testicle. The good news is that surgery can usually remove the tumor.
  9. Lastly, men who are HIV positive may have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer.

The Likelihood of Becoming a Father

Medically, the vast majority of men who have conquered cancer can develop healthy sperm again, though there may be a period of infertility while a man recuperates. That can be due to the high fevers one experiences during recovery. Or, it may be a side effect of radiation or chemotherapy. According to a study published in the journal Human Reproduction, sperm can recover! Whereas women are born with all of their eggs, men can continue to produce sperm throughout their lives. Therefore, as long as the production mechanisms come back online, there should be no need to be anxious.

Click here to read the full article, Can A Cancer Survivor Father Children?

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