Signs & Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

19 05 2009

Testicular cancer statistically affects men between the ages of 20-39 and mostly white males.  Those with abnormal testicles, such as undescended  (cryptorchidism); or have a family history of testicular cancer are more at risk to get the same disease.  Testicular cancer is highly treatable even if spreading beyond the groin area.  There is 1 of 7 treatments, or combinations of such that may be applied to mitigate this form of cancer.  Although successful treatment is available it must be emphasized; the sooner you recognize the signs symptoms seek immediate treatment for best mitigation results of a potentially fatal form of cancer.    Signs and Symptoms:  Fatigue and not feeling well.   You may experience enlargement of breast and associated tenderness.  Testicle and scrotum may be sensitive to touch/movement with pain.  There may be a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum and/or enlargement in either testicle.   Be aware of rapid fluid collection in the scrotum, lumps on the testicles and/or dull aches in the groin, or abdomen areas.  Testicular cancer is rare with unknown causes and typically affects only one testicle.
 
Treatment options: Radiation and chemotherapy are often used to kill the cancer.  Immediate surgery is common practice to remove a cancerous testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy) once diagnosis is confirmed.   A saline-filled testicle can be inserted if a prosthetic is desired.   If a patient has one testicle, a biopsy may first be performed for other possible treatment courses.  Ultra sound is used to differentiate between fluid or solid lumps, inside or outside of testicles.  Blood tests verify the presence of elevated cancerous tumor markers.   Computerized tomography (CT) takes X-ray images of abdomen which can identify abdominal, or lymph nodes cancer.   X-rays of chest are used to see if cancer has spread to chest.  These tests can reveal malignancy type, progression, stage or tell you if your testicular signs and symptoms are benign. 
 

Recommendations
-Examine testicles 1/month.  Feel for lumps -Gently palpate and roll testicles after hot shower.
-Contact your physician if any of these signs and symptoms last longer than 2 weeks.
-If subjected to radiation and chemotherapy consider sperm banking before therapy.
-Ask about clinical trials if conventional methods don’t work (such as stem cell transplant).
– Eat a healthy diet (plenty of fruits-vegetables).  Reduce stress, get plenty of rest.  Stop smoking.
– With your doctor’s approval – Exercise with low impact aerobics, no less than 2xweek.
– Connect with cancer survivor groups and stay connected with family and friends for support.
– Contact National Cancer Institute (800-422-6237); American Cancer Society (800-277-2345).


 Issue: “Bout With Gout Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @: http://www.mirrorathlete.com,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

 





Why Prostate Health Is Important for Men

12 08 2008

Although most men don’t understand the overall role, function or importance of prostate health, men over 40 should make every attempt to take care of the prostate gland.  The prostate to a man should be what breast health is to a woman.  Both examinations check for abnormalities within the soft gland tissue.  During a rectal prostate exam the physician is feeling for a hard or lumpy tissue signature that may require further examination.  The prostate gland has two main functions (also known as an exocrine gland that secretes fluids).  These fluids are important in the production of the male reproductive semen.  The prostate gland is also responsible for controlling the flow of urine.  The prostate is slightly larger than a walnut and surrounds the urethra just below the urinary bladder and can be felt during a rectal exam.  The urethra like the prostate also has two main functions: To carry urine from the bladder and carry semen. 

The prostate continues to grow during most of a man’s life.  This growth does not usually affect prostate health until later in life.  Three common prostate medical diagnosis:  1) Prostatitis – Inflammation of the prostate gland.  Where acute and chronic prostate enlargement conditions are due to bacterial infections and treated with antibiotics.  Possible causes of Prostatitis:  Bacteria & yeast driven infection, virus, food allergy BPH, Auto-immune response, possible rare tumor, physical injury.  2) Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) occurs in older men.  After the age of 50, half of all men have enlarging prostates and by the time they are 80, 80% of these men will have significantly enlarged prostates.  The prostate enlarges to a point where urination is extremely difficult and painful.  BPH can be treated with medication and in extreme cases surgery is required to remove the prostate. 3) Prostate Cancer – One of the most common cancers affecting older men in developed countries and a significant cause of death.  The lethality of prostate cancer stems from the fact, “as an endocrine gland the potential to spread cancer is great (cancerous tumors develop by growth and division “metastasis”) and remission becomes less favorable without prompt treatment.”  The prostate also produces a protein called Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).  The PSA protein produced in the prostate, also found in the semen can be traced in the blood stream.  An elevated PSA blood test is typical when testing to determine if one has prostate cancer but does not necessarily mean you have cancer.  Prostatitis can also elevate PSA levels in the blood.  Regular rectal exams are recommended for older men to detect prostate cancer early. 

If you experience any of the following symptoms seek medical advisement:  Trouble sleeping at night, frequent visits to the bathroom, erectile problems, blood in the urine, poor flow of urine, difficulty in starting the stream.

RECOMMENDATIONS
1)   Limit intake of caffeine and alcohol.  Give up smoking.  Drink plenty of water.
2)   Diet turns out to be of primary importance.  Also high fiber intake is very important.
3)   Start a regular regiment of mild daily exercise.
4)   Get an annual PSA and prostate exam especially after the age of 50.
5)   Visit our wellness company at the home site.  Inquire about our prostate health supplements.

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing, www.mirrorathlete.com, Sign up for FREE Monthly eNewsletter.