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2022 April

Testicular Cancer Month

14th April 2022

Luisa Carugati, BA, DipCNM 

Testiclar cancer is the 17th most common type of cancer, accounting for 2,400 new cases every year. It is also the leading cancer in men between the ages of 15 to 44. But because it is so treatable and therefore survivable, only around 60 men die of it each year. But high survivability is still dependant upon early detection. That is why we have Testicular cancer awareness month.

April is Testicular cancer awareness month. It is one of the most common cancers for men, obviously, between the ages 15 to 35 year. The good news is that if found early the survival rate is above 95%. Over the last few decades, the overall occurrence of TC has increased and has doubled over the last 40 years in many regions of the world. There are different types of testicular cancer, but the most common is called germ cell tumour.

What are the signs and symptoms of Testicular Cancer?

  • A lump or enlargement in either testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
  • Back pain

What are possible causes of Testicular Cancer?

  • Genetic: Almost half of the risk of developing TC comes from DNA passes down from your parents. Recent study looked at the genetic code of 6,000 Uk men which revealed that 49% of all the possible contributing testicular cancer risk are inherited.
  • Microbiological: Epidemiological data estimated viral infections to be the causative role of ~12% of cancers worldwide. Research on TC cancer has looked at Hodgkin's disease, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)and HIV as possible correlations with testicular cancer, but the all-cases evidence was insufficient to establish causality.
  • Mechanical: A poorly acknowledged risk fact for testicular cancer is mechanical, especially traumatic events often seem in athletes. Cryptorchidism is also a mechanical causation, which occurs when one of both of the testicles do not descend into the scrotum while the foetus is developing during gestation. This linked to a distribution to hormones.
  • Hormones: Exactly like other endocrine tissues in the body, the testis is both the target and the source of hormones strictly linked in a feedback-loop regulating pathway.  In particular, the activity of the hypothalamus/pituitary/gonadal axis takes place from the early phases of embryo development. This is when the testis decent, location and endocrine function are decided. The early disruption of this hormonal circuit reverberates on testis function in adult life and represents a major risk factor for TC.
  • Chemical: Heavy metals, such as cadmium (Cd), mercury, and cobalt are acknowledged as carcinogens, that are known to accumulate in tissue. These cause disruption to biological function and could contribute to the expression of the genes in TC. Another class of environmental chemicals associated with TC is pesticides, which are abundant in no organic fruit and vegetables.
  • Radiation: Exposure to ionising radiation, ultraviolet lights and electrical works are among other possible risk factors. Also being exposed to heat stress (higher than a hot bath) are associated with an increase risk of TC.

The Interplay

As for the majority of oncological diseases, TC is the result of a complex interaction among the aforementioned genetic, environmental, and hormonal risk factors. Genetic testing is now available but having the gene is not always a curtain for developing any disease. A healthy lifestyle, and a diet filled to the rainbow with fruit and vegetables is a game changer. Ball game or not.

If you think you might have any of the issues mentioned, see a doctor straight away. The doctor will examine your, take blood and do an ultrasound scan.

Please note, if you are unwell, we do advise that you get a tailored treatment program from your healthcare practitioner.


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