Diseases of the testicles are rare, but they are accompanied by unpleasant sensations and in some cases can be life-threatening if the right measures are not taken in time.
Diseases of the testicles: why is it relevant?
Fortunately, most testicular diseases are not common and usually are not dangerous. However, in some cases, they can carry a life threat. You should always seek medical advice when you have pain in the testicles, increase their size or seal. Do not delay your visit to the doctor, even if you are shy.
You probably guess that the most serious of these diseases is testicular cancer. It is also the most common type of cancer in men between the ages of 18 and 35. Testicular cancer accounts for 1% of all cancers in men, and it is usually curable. In the United States, there have been 380 cases of death from testicular cancer in the past year, and nearly 140,000 men have successfully treated and survived.
Risk factors for testicular cancer:
- a history of testicular cancer;
- cryptorchidism (location of testicles outside the scrotum) in childhood;
- testicular cancer in close relatives.
More common than cancer, testicular disease is epididymitis, which is inflammation of the epididymis (a tubular formation located next to the testicle where the semen is maturing). The most risky for the development of epididymitis in men aged 19 to 35 years. Unprotected sex and frequent changes in sexual partners increase the likelihood of developing infectious epididymitis.
Every fifth man has varicocele – swelling and dilated veins of the testicle; this pathology does not represent a particular health risk, just as hydrocele is an excessive accumulation of fluid around the testicle.
What are testicular diseases?
Illnesses of the testicles can be different:
- Testicular cancer. Like any tumor, testicular cancer occurs when mutated cells begin to multiply uncontrollably. This manifests itself as a slowly growing painless neoplasm or compaction in one of the testicles. In most cases, the man himself can detect the process at an early stage. With early treatment for medical care, testicular cancer is almost always curable.
- Testicular torsion. When the testicle is twisted, the blood vessels are pinched, and the blood supply of one of the testicles is disturbed. Some men may have a tendency to develop a torsion of the testicle due to abnormalities in the process of embryonic development. Testicular torsion requires urgent medical attention, although it is rare. When there is sudden pain in the testicle, you need to see a doctor immediately. If treatment is not started on time, necrosis of the testicles can occur.
- Epididymitis. The testicle is a long, coiled tube located next to the testicle. There is a ripening of sperm. When the appendage becomes inflamed or infected, epididymitis occurs, sometimes as a consequence of sexually transmitted infections. More often epididymitis occurs due to injuries, increased pressure in the appendage – for example, after a vasectomy, and also because of urine entering the appendage of the testicle under physical stress. Symptoms of epididymitis can range from slight discomfort to severe pain in the scrotum, swelling and fever.
- Varikotsele. Varicocele is an expansion of the veins of the testicle. Usually, this condition does not cause harm, although in some cases it may be accompanied by moderate pain and even lead to infertility. If you find an extension of the testicular veins, especially appearing in the vertical position or when straining, you should consult a doctor.
- The hydrocele. The hydrocele is an excess accumulation of fluid in the testicle shells and often proceeds benignly. But if the fluid accumulates in large quantities, there may be pain and a feeling of squeezing. Sometimes a hydrocele occurs after an injury, but in most men it occurs without any apparent cause.
How to prevent diseases of eggs?
There are no scientifically proven ways to prevent testicular cancer. Therefore, it is extremely important to detect the tumor at the earliest possible stage. Specialists recommend that all young men do their self-examination on a monthly basis. There are also no recommendations for the prevention of varicocele, hydrocele or torsion of the testicle. To prevent epididymitis, you need to protect yourself during sex and avoid physical strain with a filled bladder.
Treatment of testicular diseases
Treatment for testicular cancer depends on the type of cancer and the stage of the process. If the cancer developed within the testicle, orchiectomy is used – surgical removal of the testicle. In cases where the process extends beyond the testicle, the treatment program may include surgery to remove abdominal lymph nodes, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or a combination of all these methods.
Testicular cancer is one of the types of cancer that can be treated well. Even the spreading process in most cases is effectively treated. The key to success is early diagnosis and timely treatment.
In the treatment of epididymitis, antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs are used; in more severe cases, appoint bed rest, pain killers, cold on the scrotum area. The pain is slow, sometimes for weeks or even months.
Torsion of the testicle is an emergency. If the treatment is started on time, then the affected testicle can be stored. Urgent surgery is needed to return the testicle to its normal position and prevent repeated cases of torsion of the testicle by fixing it.
Varicocele in most cases does not require treatment. But for men who have varicocele and infertility, a microsurgical operation for dressing the dilated veins can be effective. Similarly varicocele can be adjusted by introducing small spirals into the affected veins.
The surgical method is also used for hydrocele, if it reaches a large size or causes pain. The introduction of a special substance through the wall of the scrotum can in some cases stop the development of the hydrocele without surgery.
What else do you need to know about testicular disease?
Hernias are sometimes difficult to distinguish from testicular disease. When the muscles of the lower abdominal wall are weak, the abdominal organs can protrude through it. When the intestine reaches the scrotum, this is called the inguinal hernia – there is a swelling of the scrotum, which can be taken as a pathological process in the testicles. Treatment is an operation to eliminate the hernia and strengthen the abdominal wall.