It is the most common cancer in men under 40: in Italy there are aboutup to 2000 new cases per year. Fortunately, however, it has a very low mortality e more than 9 out of 10 patients can recover permanently. For example, today more than 63 thousand compatriots live after being diagnosed with germline cancer of the testis, highly treatable disease, but that should not be underestimated. “It’s a neoplasm where the healing results are excellent – he emphasizes” Ugo De Giorgic, Director of Clinical and Experimental Oncology at IRCCS Romagnolo Institute for the Study of Tumors (IRST) “Dino Amadori” -. However, the diagnosis of the tumor does not have a negligible impact on the patient’s life. The testicle is an organ that is strongly associated with masculinity, the sexual sphere and of course fertility. Today fertility can also be preserved for those who have had the organ removed and then received chemotherapy or radiotherapy“.
Symptoms to watch out for and not to underestimate include: swelling of the testicle, volume loss, feeling of heaviness
or sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum, dull pain in the lower abdomen or groin
pain or discomfort in the testicle, blood in the urine. “The disease mainly affects men under the age of 40 and a cured patient has the right to return to a normal life,” added De Giorgi, secretary of the Italian Germ Cell Cancer Group (IGG), in which the national congress just ended in Milan. . Self-examination of the testis is important for early diagnosis and should be done from puberty. Since most patients are young, it is essential that before starting the treatment process, children are given all the information they need to become fathers in the future. It is necessary to place the patient in an adequate trajectory of care and to determine which examinations should be performed, with what timing, with or without the involvement of the andrologist or other specialists. Including a psychologist, who can provide valuable support to better manage the psychological impact of the disease ».
In men with a history of cryptorchidism (failure of the testicle to descend into the scrotal sac), a minor abnormality that occurs in many children, testicular atrophy, previous testicular or family cancer first degree affected by the disease, in addition to self-examination an annual specialist urological visit is also indicated. “In boys, any hard, slow and progressive swelling of the testicle should suggest the presence of a tumor and not, as often happens, the aftereffects of inflammation, perhaps coupled with a ball that’s a little more violent than usual — he specifies Nicolaic, Head of Urology and Testicular Surgery at the National Cancer Institute (INT) in Milan and President of IGG -. lself-examination, as is the case with breast cancer in women, it is essential to get an early diagnosis ». Precisely because it is a rare tumor, the mere fact of talking about it and occasionally remembering that it exists can aid in therapy. «In fact, sensitizing parents, young people and general practitioners to this possibility makes it possible to reduce the number of patients with late diagnosis and to achieve the goal of recovery with less invasive treatments, with fewer side effects – continues Nicolai -. For this reason, the contribution of the association of patients with AITT testicular cancer is also fundamental, very active with various initiatives, on multiple levels, including social media, useful to reach the youngest ».
If the disease is detected early and is confined to the testis, surgerywith or without radiotherapy, represents the first choice. In the more advanced formsinstead you should use the chemotherapy. The latest news in medical research was also illustrated at the conference in Milan: “In testicular cancer, traditional “treatments, such as surgery or chemo, are effective and guarantee excellent results, even in advanced forms of disease – he explains Franco Nole, director of the Urogenital and Cervical Facial Medical Oncology of the European Institute of Oncology (IEO) and chairman of the IGG conference -. As many as 93% of patients are disease-free five years after diagnosis and can be considered cured. To further improve this percentage, we therefore focus on an in-depth analysis of the genetic-molecular characteristics and the awareness of cancer. We are conducting research, also in our country, into the use of new biomarkers before Iearly detection of disease recurrence»« It’s a cancer we still have to work on – he concludes Paolo Andrea Zucalic, responsible for the oncology of the genitourinary tract of the Humanitas Cancer Center in Rozzano and president of the Milan Congress -. In our country we can guarantee patients excellent care, Italian patients have one of the best chances of treatment in Europe. Some of our centers are also a reference at an international level because they have the highest volumes of activity at European level. This applies to the provision of complex treatments such as retroperitoneal surgery or high-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplantation ».