Testicular Cancer

Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists

Urologists located in Bellingham, WA

Approximately 1 in 250 men get testicular cancer, but this rare condition responds very well to treatment. At Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists in Bellingham, Washington, the experienced team of urologists has specialized training in diagnosing and managing disorders that affect the male reproductive system, like testicular cancer. To learn more about testicular cancer, call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

Testicular Cancer

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer originates in a man’s testicles. Also known as testes, your testicles hang in a loose bag of skin underneath your penis called the scrotum. Your testicles produce sperm and sex hormones.

There are two forms of testicular cancer: nonseminoma and seminoma. Nonseminoma tumors are more common in younger men and typically grow and spread quickly. A seminoma tumor often develops in older men and is less aggressive.

Testicular cancer usually occurs in males ages 15-35 and is highly treatable. In most cases, this rare condition only affects one testicle.


What causes testicular cancer?

Experts don’t know the precise cause of testicular cancer. However, several factors can increase your risk of the disease, including:

  • Being a male age 15-35
  • Having a family history of the condition
  • Experiencing abnormal testicular development or an undescended testicle

Caucasian men have a greater chance of developing testicular cancer.


What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer can cause several symptoms, including:

  • A bump or lump in your testicle
  • Pain or discomfort in your testicles or scrotum
  • A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
  • Dull aches in your belly or groin
  • Enlarged or tender breasts

It’s also common to experience back pain and fluid in your scrotum if you have testicular cancer.


How is testicular cancer diagnosed and treated?

The skilled team of urologists at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists can typically diagnose testicular cancer by providing a comprehensive physical. In many cases, your exam also includes an ultrasound to check your testicle for physical abnormalities and blood tests to look for signs of disease.

Based on your diagnosis and the extent of your condition, the Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists might suggest a variety of treatments, such as:

  • Surgically removing your testicle and, possibly, lymph nodes in the area
  • Radiation therapy targeting and destroying cancer cells at the site
  • Chemotherapy to kill cancer cells throughout your body with medication

If you receive treatment for testicular cancer, the urologists at Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists might also recommend coping methods to provide emotional support. These resources often include ways to talk about your condition with your friends and family, to learn more about your disease and treatment options, and to find testicular cancer support groups.

Call Pacific Northwest Urology Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.