* Testicular cancer usually occurs in one of the testicles and may spread to the other testicle, spermatic cord and to the lymphnodes, blood vessels, lungs and liver. There are many types of testicular cancer. It is easily treated, and fatalities are rare.
* There is no known specific cause of testicular cancer. However some risk factors may include:
- age – men in their mid thirties are most at risk;
- race – men of Caucasian descent are most at risk;
- men who were born with undescended testicles and where the condition was not treated;
- men whose mothers took the hormone DES (diethylstilbestrol) during pregnancy;
- tight underwear;
- and men who have sustained an injury to the scrotum.
Exposure to radiation, obesity, chemicals and pesticides, a depressed immune system, prolonged or continual emotional or mental stress, smoking and diet ,including excess meat intake, have also been linked with cancer.
* Symptoms of testicular cancer include urinary problems, testicle pain, tenderness in the breasts, a lump in a testicle, a dull ache in the abdomen or groin, a heavy feeling in or thickening of the scrotum, weight loss, fatigue and fluid retention. Note that it is important to obtain an accurate medical assessment if you suffer these symptoms, as some are common to other disorders.
* Address Obesity Problems – the American Cancer Society recommends maintaining weight at a healthy level to reduce the risk of cancer.
* Quit Smoking – smoking and passive smoking increases the risk of some cancers and puts unnecessary strain on a body trying to survive cancer. See smoking for information on how to quit.
* Avoid Chemicals – many chemicals are carcinogenic and have an unknown long term effects. It is safer to avoid exposure to chemicals as much as possible.
* Stress Management – the mind has a powerful influence upon one’s health, and techniques such as meditation, yoga or breathing exercises should be a part of your daily stress management program to reduce the risk of cancer, or to cope with cancer treatment.
* Self Examination – it is recommended that you perform regular self examinations after a shower or bath. You should take each testicle between the thumb and fingers and gently roll it feeling for any lumps. Please consult your physician if you find any suspicious lumps.
* Regular Exercise – the American Cancer Society recommends at least 30 minutes of exercise daily as a preventative measure against cancer.
* Dietary Changes – diet may help as a preventative measure against testicular cancer. If you have been diagnosed with testicular cancer, you might consider some dietary changes that may help your body to cope better with chemotherapy, radiation or surgery.
– Reduce fat intake – high fat diets, have been linked with cancer.
– Take in a high fiber diet, at least 35 gms daily. Fiber is known to reduce the risk of cancer.
– Eliminate animal flesh products. Animals are often treated with hormones and consume foods contaminated with pesticides; these chemicals are taken into your body when you eat meat and other animal products. Many studies have found a direct correlation between high intake of animal protein and some cancers.
– Avoid alcohol, caffeine products, processed foods or foods with additives, salt, sugar and white flour.
– If possible, eat organically grown food, as pesticides have been linked to cancer.
* Eat a vegetarian whole foods diet including whole grains, legumes, oats, onions, berries, garlic, broccoli, carrots, sweet potato, brussel sprouts, nuts, seeds, yams, pumpkin and leafy green vegetables.
* There is no known cure for testicular cancer in orthodox western medicine. Conventional therapies available to treat testicular cancer, they include surgery – removal of the tumor, radiation – radiation of the tumor and chemotherapy – drug therapy. The treatment used will depend upon how advanced the cancer is and it will have many side effects. It is necessary to include other therapies such as diet, vitamin, mineral and herbal therapies into your regimen to improve the chances of a successful recovery. Chinese herbal Medicine has some successful cures for this sort of cancer. Please consult your nutrition oriented physician or Traditional Chinese medicine practitioner for further information. It is worth noting that some of the more conventional western treatments may leave some men infertile, however this will usually rectify itself given time. Some men who have lymph nodes removed may experience some difficulty in ejaculating; this may recover with time, or medication may be required.
VITAMIN A – Contains anticarcinogenic phytochemicals shown to reduce the risk of some cancers. Vitamin A helps stimulate the immune system and is used in tissue repair. Natural sources of vitamin A include yellow fruits and vegetables, rose hip, sage, spinach, spirulina, alfalfa, asparagus, dandelion greens, red peppers, apricots and peaches. 50,000 – 100,000 iu for ten days in divided doses of emulsion form, reduced to 50,000 iu for thirty days, and 25,000 iu daily after that, may help if you have testicular cancer; otherwise take according to label instructions. Doses over 10,000 iu per day may cause birth defects if taken by pregnant women. Women of childbearing age are advised not to become pregnant during such a course or within one month after ceasing a course.
VITAMIN C – With bioflavonoids. Vitamin C is thought to reduce the risk of cancer and to lower death rates of cancer sufferers due to its antioxidant properties, which protect tissue from damage caused by free radicals. Vitamin C may also be used to prevent damaging side effects from chemotherapy and radiation. Natural sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, berries, alfalfa, fenugreek, parsley, peppermint, tomatoes, pineapple, papayas, kale, spinach, brussel sprouts, onions, mangos, peas, persimmons and kelp. 5,000 – 20,000 daily in divided doses may help if you have testicular cancer otherwise take according to label instructions. Use esterified vitamin C if you use aspirin. Large doses of vitamin C may cause diarrhea, may deplete the body of copper and may affect the reliability of oral contraceptives.
VITAMIN E – Helps to reduce the risk of cancer. Its antioxidant properties protect cell membranes from attack from free radicals and is used in cell repair – important if you are undergoing chemotherapy, radiation or surgery. Natural sources of vitamin E include dark green leafy vegetables, cornmeal, milk, sweet potatoes, flaxseed, dandelion, soybeans, legumes, cold pressed vegetable oils, nuts, whole grains and seeds. 400 – 1,000 iu daily may help if you have testicular cancer otherwise take according to label instructions. Take according to label instructions if you suffer from diabetes, overactive thyroid, or are taking anticoagulant medication.
BETA CAROTENE – Protects against cancer by scavenging free radicals and is need to repair tissue. 25,000 iu daily may help if you have testicular cancer; otherwise take according to label instructions.
SELENIUM – Some studies have shown that people who have a diet low in selenium have increased risk of developing cancer. Selenium works synergistically with vitamin C and A, has a powerful antioxidant effect and aids in digesting protein. Natural sources of selenium include dairy products, garlic, molasses, kelp, nettle, ginseng, fenugreek, fennel seed, chamomile, wheat germ, brown rice, alfalfa, whole grains and sarsaparilla. 200 mcg daily in divided doses may help if you have testicular cancer; otherwise take according to label instructions.
ASTRAGALUS, HUANG QI – Stimulates the immune system, assists in healing and digestion, improves fatigue and is used for cancer and after chemotherapy. Take according to label instructions. Works well if used alternately with echinacea. Do not take if a fever is present. Do not use for more than ten consecutive days.
CHAPARRAL – A free radical scavenger, helps during radiation, a pain reliever and reduces the risks of cancer. Take according to label instructions. Chaparral in large or prolonged doses may damage the liver.
DANDELION – Is thought to reduce the risk of cancer. Take according to label instructions. Avoid dandelion if you have ulcers or gall stones.
ECHINACEA, PURPLE CONEFLOWER. – Stimulates the immune system. Works well if used alternately with astragalus. Do not use if allergic to plants in the sunflower family. Do not use if you have an autoimmune disease or have a progressive disease such as multiple sclerosis or tuberculosis.
GARLIC – Stimulates the immune system, detoxifies the body, improves circulation and is used for cancer. Take 2 – 3 capsules daily in divided doses. Seek medical advice before taking garlic if you are taking anticoagulant medication.
GINGER – Helps to alleviate the nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy and radiation and improves circulation. 1 gm daily in divided doses may help. Do not use for a prolonged period if you have gallstones.
GREEN TEA – Is thought to reduce the risk of cancer. Drink liberally.
PAU D’ARCO, TAHEEBO, LAPACHO – Used in cancer, has healing and cleansing properties. Use according to label instructions.