How To Prepare For A Testicular Cancer Test
In doing your own testicular examinations, if you find a lump in your testicle(s), here is how to prepare for a testicular cancer test. Check out your findings first with your family doctor, and if he feels it is necessary, he will refer you to an oncologist who specializes in treating cancer and will give you a testicular cancer test. Testicular cancer occurs in about three out of 100,000 men and the cure rate is up to 100 percent with early detection and approximately 85 percent with later detection. It accounts for one percent of cancers in men from ages sixteen to 34.
- Making the appointment. When you call the oncologist to make an appointment for a testicular cancer test, be sure to ask if you need to do anything to prepare for the testing. Find out if you need to restrict your diet.
- Make a list of your symptoms. In case you forget something, it is good to make a list of any symptoms you are experiencing. You should list everything, including those that you aren’t even sure are related. Some of the possible symptoms include a painless lump in the testicle, an enlarged testicle, a painful testicle, blood or fluid in the scrotum, enlarged breasts, or a heaviness in the testicle or groin.
- Write down things you feel may have an impact of your condition. This list should include any recent changes in your life, any stressful situations you may be going through, any injury to your testicles, or anything else you think may be pertinent to your condition.
- If you are taking medications, be sure to list them. Be sure to list all prescription medications, herbal remedies, supplements, vitamins, or any over-the-counter medications you are taking. The doctor will want to know what you are taking to make sure it could not have been the cause of your symptoms.
- Take someone with you to your appointment. You may want to take a friend or family member with you to help absorb the information that the doctor may give you.
- Ask the doctor what type of testing he is going to do. An ultrasound may be given to discover if the lump is inside or outside the testicle and whether it is liquid or solid. A CT scan of the abdomen can help to determine if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. A blood test can determine the levels of tumor markers and if they are elevated, which doesn’t necessarily mean you have testicular cancer but it can help in the overall diagnosis. The doctor may recommend removal of the testicle if the doctor feels there is a possibility that it is testicular cancer. The testicle will then be examined to see if it is cancerous and what type of cancer it is.
- You may want to make a list of questions to ask if, in fact, the doctor says the results of your testicular cancer tests are positive. Getting the shocking results of your tests (if they are positive) can make you forget important questions you should ask the doctor. Some of the questions you may want to ask are: the type of cancer (seminoma or nonseminoma), what the pathology report shows, what the stage and grade of cancer is (Type I, II or III), if you need additional tests, what your treatment options are, chances of the cancer being cured, what treatment the doctor recommends, if you need a second opinion, if your insurance will cover the treatment, if you will still be able to have children, and if there is anything you should do to preserve your fertility before you have treatment.
- Ask for brochures and other information before you leave. Ask the doctor if he can recommend any reading materials or websites that may help you understand your condition.
- Ask any other questions that you feel you need an answer for. If you still aren’t comfortable with the information the doctor has given you, don’t hesitate to ask other questions to help you understand.