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Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

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Infertility and Testicular Disorders

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How Is Testicular Torsion Treated?

Testicular torsion requires immediate medical attention. Treatment usually involves correction of the problem through surgery. Testicular function may be saved if the condition is diagnosed and corrected immediately. If the blood supply to the testicle is cut off for a long period of time, the testicle can become permanently damaged and may need to be removed.

What Is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer occurs when abnormal cells in the testicles divide and grow uncontrolled. In some cases, certain benign (non-cancerous) tumors may progress and become cancer. Testicular cancer can develop in one or both testicles in men or young boys.

What Are the Symptoms of Testicular Cancer?

Symptoms of testicular cancer include a lump, irregularity or enlargement in either testicle; a pulling sensation or feeling of unusual heaviness in the scrotum; a dull ache in the groin or lower abdomen; and pain or discomfort (which may come and go) in a testicle or the scrotum.

What Causes Testicular Cancer?

The exact causes of testicular cancer are not known, but there are certain risk factors for the disease. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's chance of getting a disease. The risk factors for cancer of the testicles include:

  • Age. Testicular cancer can occur at any age, but most often occurs in men between the ages of 15 and 40.
  • Undescended testicle. This is a condition in which the testicles do not descend from the abdomen, where they are located during fetal development, to the scrotum shortly before birth. This condition is a major risk factor for testicular cancer.
  • Family history. A family history of testicular cancer increases the risk.
  • Race and ethnicity. The risk for testicular cancer in white men is more than five times that of black men and more than double that of Asian-American men.

What Treatments Are Available for Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer is a rare form of cancer, and is highly treatable and usually curable. Surgery is the most common treatment for testicular cancer. Surgical treatment involves removing one or both testicles through an incision in the groin. In some cases, the doctor also may remove some of the lymph nodes in the abdomen. Radiation, which uses high-energy rays to attack cancer, and chemotherapy, which uses drugs to kill cancer, are other treatment options.

Removing the one testicle should not lead to problems with having sex or children. The remaining testicle will continue making sperm and the male hormone testosterone. To re-establish a normal appearance, a man may be able to have a testicular prosthesis surgically implanted in the scrotum which looks and feels like a normal testicle.

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