The Boys' Growing Up in the Lord

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Question

Hi,

I have a few questions. The first is that when I was born I had an undescended testicle. I had surgery when I was between 4 to 5 years old. Do I have a higher risk of getting testicular cancer? If yes, how much of a risk as the surgery was done when I was between 4 to 5 years old. Is the risk to just the one that was undescended or to both testicles?

Next is that I am disabled. I can't get out on my own. I have a lump on my left testicle. I have been to the doctors. The first time he prescribed co-codimal for the pain and said if it doesn't go away, then to come back. I did that and he referred me to an urologist. They said that they couldn't find a lump and they signed me off. They said if I am still having problems with it and it's nothing to do with my other medical issues then to get another referral. My parents took me to the doctors and hospital. The General Practitioner said the first time there is a lump. The second time the General Practitioner said that the lump had gotten bigger. The doctor at the hospital said that they couldn't find anything wrong and if it isn't any other medical issues to go and get another referral. As I am disabled and my parents have to be with me when going out at all times, my parents think that as the doctor at the hospital couldn't find a lump, then there is nothing wrong. They say that I don't need to go to the doctors about that then. What should I do? Should I keep on asking them or anything else should I try to do?

Thanks.


Answer

While I know cancer is your biggest fear, it isn't the only cause of lumps. One thing for certain is that cancer doesn't go away on its own. So let's back up.

In "What are the risk factors for testicular cancer?" by the American Cancer Society, it is stated that having an undescended testicle gives a slight increase in the odds that a male might develop testicular cancer. For reasons unknown, in 25% of the cases of cancer, the cancer will appear in the normal testicle. The current thought is that the undescended testicle doesn't cause the cancer but that whatever factor leads to an undescended testicle also can lead to cancer. The general odds of a man getting testicular cancer sometime during his life is 5.5 out of 100,000 men [National Cancer Institute].

Now your doctor did find a lump twice. The urologist didn't find anything. One of the two may have been mistaken or something changed. I take it that you are also experiencing some pain. Are there any other symptoms? Are you able to feel a lump, and if so, where? At the moment, I would suggest mentioning to your general practitioner the next time you see him that the urologist couldn't find what he found. Ask him to check again and if it is still there to be referred to a different urologist. Since the urologist didn't find anything, I am assuming there is no rush unless you happen to be in pain.