The most common malignant tumors in young men are testicular tumors. One in every 300 men in the developed countries has a testicular tumor in the course of his life. On the other hand, the risk of dying from this disease is very low, because today a multitude of treatment options is available to the medical profession. Crucial for the prognosis is how far the tumor has progressed at the time of diagnosis. Almost always a cure is possible if the tumor is detected at an early stage. The best way to detect a tumor in the early stages is the regular self-examination of the testicle.
Risk factors for the development of a testicular tumor are:
- Testicular tumor of the opposite side
- Testicular tumor in the family
Testicular tumors do not usually cause pain in the early stages. Most of the time they stand out due to a hardening of the testicles, which is determined either by self-examination or by the doctor. Some men also complain of a heaviness in the scrotum.
In advanced tumors the symptoms are dependent on the location of the metastases (e.g. back pain, shortness of breath or cough).
Extensive medical history and complete physical examination
Laboratory control including testicular tumor markers (AFP, LDH, ß-HCG)
Sonography of the testicle
MRI or CT abdomen / pelvis for staging purposes
Testicular tumors can be treated and cured in most cases. The surgical removal of the tumor-bearing testis (orchiectomy) is usually at the beginning of therapy. In this procedure it is possible, if desired, to implant a testicle prosthesis for aesthetic reasons.
Depending on the tumor type and stage, there are several procedures for the following treatment. It is important that early stages have the opportunity to pursue a wait-and-see strategy. In this strategy, the patient is monitored very closely.
At early tumor stages, chemotherapy (treatment of the tumor with drugs) is used in lower doses and in advanced, metastatic tumor disease at higher doses.
If tumors of the posterior abdominal lymph nodes are suspected or confirmed, their surgical removal (lymphadenectomy) may be necessary. This intervention is favorably performed to preserve the nerves, so that normal ejaculation (antegrade ejaculation) is not impaired.
Radiotherapy of the posterior abdominal area is another treatment option. All of these treatment options can be used alone or in combination. Overall, the prognosis depends on the tumor stage at the time of diagnosis and on the appropriate treatment.