Testicular germ cell cancer

It originates in the sperm-producing cells and usually presents as a painless mass, sometimes associated with dull, sustained pain. It is the most common cancer in men, although it is rare, accounting for 2% of all male tumors. Most have a good prognosis, even in advanced stages with dissemination, although it will depend on the type and extension.

The exact cause or causes of testicular cancer are unknown, but a number of factors have been identified that increase the risk.

Cryptorchidism, or undescended testicles before birth, after their formation in the abdominal area during fetal development, carries an increased risk of testicular cancer. Even if the testicle has been surgically relocated to the scrotum, the risk remains elevated. Additionally, conditions that cause the testicles to develop abnormally, such as Klinefelter's syndrome among others, can also increase the risk.

Similarly, HIV infection or its clinical form of acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) also slightly increases the risk of developing testicular germ cell tumor seminoma. Other infections by human papillomavirus (HPV), Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) or Parvovirus B-19 have also been associated with an increased risk of this cancer.

Other risk factors are exposure to certain chemical compounds or tobacco use.

Finally, race also influences risk, with white men being more likely to develop this type of cancer than African-American and Asian-American men.

Symptoms

Testicular cancer is frequently diagnosed between the ages of 18-45 years, but can occur at any age. Usually the first signs consist of an enlarged testicle or a small lump or area of hardness, while other symptoms usually appear when there is spread to others. Broadly speaking the symptoms of testicular cancer may include:

  • Lump or enlargement in either testicle.
  • A change in the shape of the testicle or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
  • Pain, discomfort, or numbness in a testicle or the scrotum, with or without swelling.
  • Dull pain in the lower abdomen or groin.
  • Sudden accumulation of fluid in the scrotum.
  • Breast tenderness or enlargement.

Prevention

There is no one way to prevent testicular cancer. As in the prevention of all diseases, it is necessary to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, stop smoking, follow a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and perform routine physical exercise. It has also been suggested the possibility of performing regular self-examinations of the testicles, however, the most advisable thing to do is to go periodically to the medical check-ups established for each age.

Number of observed variants

13.5 million variants

Number of risk loci

39 loci

Genes analyzed

ATF7IP BAK1 BMERB1 CDKL2 CENPE CNOT2 DAZL DMRT1 FBXO34 HNF1B KATNA1 KITLG L2G LZTR1 MAD1L1 MCM3AP NEIL2 NLRP12 PDE8A PIK3CD PKNOX2 PRDM14 RESF1 RFWD3 RPL4 SEPTIN4 SLC25A44 SMARCAD1 SPRY4 SSR3 SUGCT TERT TYMS UCK2 UQCRFS1 ZFP42 ZFP64 ZFPM1 ZNF638 ZNF726

Bibliography

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