When someone hears those words they usually think of Lance Armstrong. Well this week I saw a patient with testicular cancer and I thought that I would blog about some of the basics behind this disease.
Exact cause is unknown but there are certain risk factors like abnormal testicle development, undescended testicle, family history, and possibly exposure to certain chemicals and HIV infection.
It is most common in male 15 - 35 years of age, and is one of the most treatable cancers. There are two types: seminomas (slow growing and sensitive to radiation) and nonseminomas (fast growing). Symptoms may include but are not limited to: discomfort or pain in the testicle, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, pain in the back or lower abdomen, enlargement of a testicle or a change in the way it feels, excess development of breast tissue (gynecomastia), and lump or swelling in either testicle. Lab tests to confirm may include alpha fetoprotein (AFP), beta HCG and LDH. A CT scan is also done to confirm.
The male is being treated by a great group of oncologists in Toronto at Princess Margaret and as a partner in his health care team, I've been asked to help support nutritionally to keep him strong and healthy.
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