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Hi I am 20 years old. I have been suffering from back pain about 1 year. There is a node like thing on the left side of my lower back and I think that is causing the pain. What is the node like thing?
- Seminomatous: These are less aggressive and respond very well to chemotherapy and radiation therapy
- Non-seminomatous: These grow and spread rapidly, and often require surgery and chemotherapy
While the exact causes for testicular cancer are not clear, the following are considered to be the possible risk factors:
- Family history
- Undescended testicles
- Prior history of testicular cancer
- Genetic abnormalities of some types
While testicular cancer is often diagnosed late, the patient can have early symptoms, which are often ignored.
- Painful swelling in one (or both) testicle(s)
- Pain in the lower abdomen and groin area
Often, this type of cancer originates in the testicles and spreads to the lymph nodes inside the abdomen. It can also reach distant organs like lungs, liver, and lymph nodes in chest, neck. If attention to paid to early symptoms such as testicular swelling with or without pain, testicular cancer can be diagnosed early. However, even if diagnosed in the late stages, treatment is quite effective and outcome is good.
Tumor Markers in Testicular Cancers
Tumor markers are very important for diagnosis of testicular cancers. Alpha feto protein (AFP) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are very important markers that are testing in blood. They are very useful in diagnosis, staging and follow up of testicular cancer.
Stages of Testicular Cancer
There are three stages of testicular cancer – I to III, and treatment and prognosis would depend on the stage at which it is diagnosed.
Various modalities are used depending on the stage and extent of spread.
- Surgery: Removal of the testicle is usually the first step in testicular cancer treatment. Removal of testicle for cancer is done by a procedure called “high orchidectomy” or radical orchidectomy and not through the scrotum. This may need to be followed up by chemotherapy or radiation in most cases.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy drugs are used to kill the existing cancer cells and arrest the further growth of testicular cancer. Chemotherapy can be given in early cancers to prevent recurrence of cancer and for advanced cancer to cure the advanced cancer. Chemotherapy is very effective in testicular cancer and cures majority of cases in advanced stages too.
- Radiation: External radiation can be used to target nodes in the abdomen. Radiation is very effective in seminomatous cancers. As is true of all cancers, surveillance and follow-up is very essential. History, examination and testing (blood tests for tumor markers) and scanning (CT scan of abdomen, thorax) are used for follow up.
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One ailment that affects a large number of women all over the world is that of breast cysts. Breast cysts are essentially benign abscesses that grow on and around the mammary glands. These cysts primarily develop on account of hormonal changes and are often assumed to develop naturally along with the development of breasts. These cysts are generally filled with fluids, which can be traced around the milk ducts.
Cysts are usually reported among women approaching menopause. While some cysts are of temporary kind, there may be others with a more prolonged run. Early diagnosis and prompt medication ensure that their growth gets arrested at the earliest. Although it is necessary to be vigilant about these eruptions, one need not fear any further exacerbation. Most cysts are harmless in nature and do not proceed to breast cancer. The symptoms as well as the causes of the latter are completely disparate.
However, some classes of cysts are more threatening than the others. These mostly comprise suspended solid elements besides the regular fluid content. Some might even have thicker walls compared to the others. Accordingly, they are called complicated and complex cysts. In these cases, one must exercise caution and get them treated immediately. Some of the most popular remedies include drainage through needle aspiration.
On certain occasions, physicians also recommend biopsy. Wherein, a different mode of treatment ensues. Other ways of tackling breast cysts are ultrasound guidance using local anesthesia. In most cases however, depending upon the traits of the cysts, physicians leave them unaltered. One might choose to remove them for cosmetic as well as comfort purposes. Women come to such decision because breast cysts prove to be painful during menstrual cycles and some might even resent its appearance.
One unavoidable repercussion of needle aspiration is that the cysts tend to come back periodically. Dealing with it then becomes a fairly tedious task. This was known to cause anxiety and depression in a lot of women. Counselling and support group can prove beneficial here. But, the most crucial factor in learning to deal with breast cysts would be generating more awareness with regard to the causes and effects of breast cysts. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a gynaecologist.