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  • Recently diagnosed and scared.

    Hi,

    I have just been told that I have testicular cancer and am awaiting an operation to remove my left testicle. The testicle is very swollen and I have a dull aching pain. My fear is that I have left it too late and the doctors are going to give my a low chance of recovery. Also, I have a slight ache across my chest and slight sweating but I do not know if this is caused by anxiety or the spread of the cancer.

    My questions are if anybody is in the same situation and what are the symptoms of late testicular cancer.

    Thanks

    Rupert
    Diagnosed 11/04/06, Left / IO 21/04/06, seminoma stage one (tumor 4.5cms)

  • #2
    Welcome, Rupert. Testicular cancer is almost always cured when caught early and can often be cured even in advanced cases.

    Have you had a blood test for tumor markers yet, and if so what were the results? You'll need to have a chest x-ray and abdominal CT scan to help determine whether the cancer has spread beyond the testicle. All of these tests plus your pathology report following surgery will help determine what further treatment may be needed. I suspect that your other symptoms aren't caused by metastasis.
    Scott, [email protected]
    right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since


    Your donation funds Livestrong services for people facing cancer now. Please sponsor my ride!

    Comment


    • #3
      Rupert:
      I would be shocked if the doctors told you that you had a low chance of recovery. When you get all the tests done the doctors will be able to pick a treatment plan that will cure you.
      Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

      Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

      Comment


      • #4
        Scott reply.

        Dear Scott

        Thank you for your support. I am 42 years old and live in Spain althought I am English. Yes, I have had a blood test but will get the results after the Easter break.

        I know that the chances of being cured are high if caught early but I am so frightened because I went late to the doctor. I had noticed swelling about a month and a half ago but assumed it was due to physical exercise andthought nothing of it and then about a week ago I noticed the swelling was larger, the testicle hard as well as a dull ache.

        When I went to my GP she sent me to hospital and after a untrascan they said I needed to have the testicle removed. That was last Wedesday and since then I am just waiting and becoming more scared. I know I have to be positive but I keep getting these moments of incredible nervousness just thinking about the uncertainty.

        Could you tell me a little about the early and late symptoms of testicular cancer that you encoutered or have read about.

        Thanks

        Rupert
        Diagnosed 11/04/06, Left / IO 21/04/06, seminoma stage one (tumor 4.5cms)

        Comment


        • #5
          Rupert:
          It wouldn't be normal if you weren't scared. My son waited almost 4 months to tell us he had a problem and his treatment plan cured him. Don't make yourself more upset with trying self diagnoses as to what stage you are in. Even advanced cases are cured. The attached link will take you to a site that can answer most of your questions. http://tcrc.acor.org/
          Son Jason diagnosed 4/30/04, stage III. Right I/O 4/30/04. Graduated College 5/13/04. 4XEP 6/7/04 - 8/13/04. Full open RPLND 10/13/04. All Clear since.

          Treated by Dr. Rakowski of Midland Park, NJ. Visited Sloan Kettering for protocol advice. RPLND done at Sloan Kettering.

          Comment


          • #6
            keep your chin up

            hey my name is chris i am 19 and last year i was going through the same situation you are going through now!!! it's tough i know
            no matter what do not keep anything from the doctor because it really doesnt help. the main hting is that they will probably give you a course of chemotherapy after your opperation. now thats the hard part... no matter what you have got to keep your chin up and fight it rite the way to the end!!
            there will b days when you feel like absolute s**t ( excuse my french) but no matter what see the light at the end of the tunnel. if you or anyone else wants to talk to me about the treatment or anything please do not hessitate to e-mail me at [email protected] i have no problem with it what so ever!!
            all the best
            chrisXXX

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi Rupert,

              My guess is that if you caught it within 6 weeks you've caught it very early. I delayed mine for at least six months and only had mininal spread, and I've been advised it has an excellent cure rate. My consultant advised that a lot of men delay, even long beyond the time I did.

              If it helps, I had a dry cough that I couldn't shift a month before diagnosis, and I worked myself into a frenzy as I thought it had spread to my lungs. My chest X-ray and CT scan found nothing, and it was just part of a late winter cold!

              I know that the easier treatable seminoma is typically more prevelant in the 40's, but non-seminoma which I have is very highly curable.

              I'm currently being treated at the Royal Marsden in Sutton (South London) under Professor Dearnaley and Horwich. As I said in a previous post these consultants really are in a handful of true world TC experts. So whether you return to England for your treatment or need to speak to an expert for advice, I couldn't recommend these people higher.

              Good luck........Davie
              Diagnosed March 2006, Stage IIB, 3cm RP mass
              10% Seminoma, 90% Non-Seminoma (Embryonal, and a tiny amount of choriocarcinoma and teratoma)
              Prechemo bHCG-2648, AFP-582
              3xBEP March-June, markers normalised
              3 months postchemo - 1.2cm residual RP mass
              RPLND September 2006 - mostly necrotic tissue plus tiny amount of well differentiated teratoma
              June 2009 - TRT commenced to help out my lefty
              May 2011 - check-up, all clear

              Comment


              • #8
                reply to davie et all

                this is to reply to thank all the people who have given me support. thanks-it means a lot to me.

                Davie - could you tell me what symptoms you had once you went to the doctor and how yours was treated

                rupert
                Diagnosed 11/04/06, Left / IO 21/04/06, seminoma stage one (tumor 4.5cms)

                Comment


                • #9
                  Rupert, I'm really hesitant to say too much about symptoms just because of the phenomenon that Davie described: you'll convince yourself that you have them all!

                  About your comment, "I know I have to be positive," don't get too worried about that. Although I love the the LIVESTRONG mantra -- "Unity is strength. Knowledge is power. Attitude is everything." -- it's OK to let yourself be upset, scared, mad, whatever. It won't make you any less likely to be cured.
                  Scott, [email protected]
                  right inguinal orchiectomy 6/5/2003 > nonseminoma, stage I > surveillance > L-RPLND 6/24/2005 for recurrence, suspected teratoma but found seminoma, stage II > chylous ascites until 9/2005 > surveillance and "all clear" since


                  Your donation funds Livestrong services for people facing cancer now. Please sponsor my ride!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    reply to scott

                    Dear Scott

                    Thanks.

                    I am starting to get my emotions more under control. This, as I am sure it is for everyone, is unchartered territory. One of my favourite quotations says that there is nothing to fear except fear itself. A great idea when one can control it but sometimes it can be a bit difficult. That said, since I have logged on to this forum I feel a lot better with the comments and support from the rest of the group.

                    Rupert
                    Diagnosed 11/04/06, Left / IO 21/04/06, seminoma stage one (tumor 4.5cms)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Rupert - I was in a similar situation to you a few weeks ago - I'd let it 'fester' for a similar amount of time and felt a lot of relief when i was diagnosed. For me, the feeling was that I was now conscious that it was there as I had a dull ache (when i thought about it) rather than previously I didn't really think about it and obviously it had also grown to about twice its previous size(!)

                      By way of encouragement, all I can say is that I was of the attitude that there's NOTHING that I can do now apart from trust the doctors that have had a 98% cure rate so, given that... what have i got to worry about?

                      At the end of the day, you're backing a winner

                      All the best,
                      Martin

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Reply to martin

                        Dear Martin

                        Thanks. I know people in our situation have to look forward and not dwell on the past. You are right, the chances of a cure are high and we have to take comfort from that. What is your situation now. Have you had surgery ? Before the surgery did you attacks of anxiety and if so what form did they take?

                        Rupert
                        Diagnosed 11/04/06, Left / IO 21/04/06, seminoma stage one (tumor 4.5cms)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I had my surgery on the 3rd April - it'll be 2 weeks on Easter Monday. I find I'm noticably feeling better each day - i'm going a bit stir crazy at the moment so i'm aiming to go for a drive on Monday to get a bit of normality back. I'm due for a CT scan on Friday and expect to get all my results the following week.

                          As far as i can tell, my blood tests came back within what the surgeon also told me were 'normal' parameters. In fact, as I changed hospitals (to be up north with the family) it was 10 days between blood tests and surgery which was a bit of a concern as if i'd stayed at Guys (hospital) I was told i would've been operated on either that day or the following day so to have to wait over a week didn't help.

                          I didn't really suffer from attacks of anxiety before the surgery in spite of it being my first ever visit to hospital... although there would be times when i felt a bit down so i just tried not to think about it too much. My attitude was that it was just one of those things - in the grand scheme of things, it's a setback that I have to deal with. I've tried to play down the seriousness of the whole thing in my mind and am doing my best not to dwell on things.

                          Overall for me, the hardest thing has been telling close family and friends. I found that having read extensively around the subject I myself was coping quite well but when you break the news to other people they tended to be more upset than i was.

                          My stay in hospital was also an eye opener - I was in a cancer specialist hospital so there were many around me suffering from this (although i was the only TC patient) - the spirit amongst these people was remarkable and there were unfortunately people there who were a lot worse off than me. The fact that they were so positive I think helped me also.

                          The thing that works for me is taking the view that there's no point getting too worried over something that i have no control over and have tried to play it down in my mind ever since and stay positive.

                          Are you coming over to the UK for the op or staying in Spain? Have you been given a date yet?

                          PS Sorry for rambling on a bit - it does help to get things off your chest though!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I am going to have the operation in Spain at the University hospital of Getaffe outside Madrid. When, I am not sure cos this all was discovered just before the Easter break but I imagine early this forthcoming week. Then I will have to see what the results are and maybe I will return to the UK. It's great to talk to someone else going through the same trauma but as you said there are other cancers that are much more dangerous.

                            One question I have and don't know if anyone can answer is about the size of the swelling and hardness of the testicl. Mine is about double the healthy right testicle and hard. What generally is the relation to people finding lumps by this I mean do lumps turn into large masses of swelling?
                            Diagnosed 11/04/06, Left / IO 21/04/06, seminoma stage one (tumor 4.5cms)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rupert
                              One question I have and don't know if anyone can answer is about the size of the swelling and hardness of the testicl. Mine is about double the healthy right testicle and hard. What generally is the relation to people finding lumps by this I mean do lumps turn into large masses of swelling?
                              Hi Rupert,

                              Not sure exactly what you are asking here, but I can tell you that your symptoms sound very much like my own: no perceptible "lump", just an extremely hard left testicle compared to the healthy right one. It turned out that my tumor was about 3.4 cm in maximum dimension, and occupied about 70% of the testicle at the time of the orchiectomy. I also thought that it felt much larger than the healthy one, but the ultrasound showed that it was only about 20% larger.

                              If I recall correctly, sometimes the tumor starts on the outside surface of the testicle as a small lump and sometimes it starts within the testicle and is not perceptible until this hardness appears and the tumor is much larger. Apparently self-detection through hardness is much less common than self-detection via a lump, from what I gather by reading stories of others' experiences on both this site and TCRC's personal stories section.

                              My case turned out to be 100% seminoma, with 3 to 4 lymph nodes enlarged. The other cases I've heard about where a hard testicle was described, almost invariably turned out to be seminoma. I believe I've read that seminoma is the diagnosis in 40% of the cases for all patients, but that it is far more common in older (>= 30) patients. Based on this, if I were to take a wild guess I'd say you have a pretty good chance of this being seminoma. Would this be a good or bad thing? That I don't know, since it seems that the cure rates are about the same either way. For seminoma, I think it's pretty rare that it goes undetected before spreading very far since it proceeds slowly and in a predictable fashion.

                              I hope this has been of some help. I'm on day 2 of my second cycle of BEP and I'm not feeling very coherent at the moment, so I apologize if this is a somewhat scatterbrained post.

                              -TSX

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