It is a rare and fatal disease which is characterized as; “an extra-nodal presentation of non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL)”.
Extra-nodal means that the cancer cells are found outside the lymphoid organs more specifically known as lymph nodes.Generally it is described as the blood cell cancer majorly affecting the lymphatic cells or lymphocytes in the testis.
Testicular lymphoma has three ways to appear in the human body such as;
- Initially originate in the lymph nodes (primary site) and then appear in the testis.
- It may appear in association with a seriously spreading systemic disorder.
- Appearance of the clinically significant results from a minor and clinically insignificant systemic disorder.
It accounts for the 1-2% of all types of the non-Hodgkin lymphomas while approximately 5% of all the testicular neoplasms. It is the most common type of testicular tumor in men and predominately known as the disease of the elders over the age of 50.
Usually it is considered as a deadly disease among population but the treatment outlook is quiet positive in extending the life span and improving the quality of life.
Testicular Lymphoma Symptoms
The most common symptom of testicular lymphoma is the enlargement of one of the two testis with or without the association of pain. Due to this enlargement the testis may feel heavy and cause the pain which varies from patient to patient.
Testicular lymphoma has the ability to spread to other parts of the body where they may show some other associated symptoms which help in the proper diagnosis of the disease. These associated symptoms may include;
- Inflammation of one or both testis, or lump in the testis with associated testicular pain
- Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Serious weight loss
- Body weakness
- Trouble in breathing
- Low blood pressure
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Back pain
- Swelling of the legs
- Loss of appetite
- Frequent urination
Testicular Lymphoma Causes
The basic causes of testicular lymphoma are yet unknown but generally some risk factors (diseases, environmental factors) have been reported by the professionals which help to enhance the understanding of the disease.
There are some factors which may maximize the susceptibility to the adoption of the disease including;
- Abnormal development of lymphocytes leading to stimulation of cancerous cells.
- Family history of immune disease
- Age 60 years and older
- Decreased immunity, especially due to HIV/AIDS
- The presence of any systemic disease
- Exposure to radiation and industrial chemicals
- Infectious diseases.
Theseinfectious diseases may lead to testicular lymphoma including;
- EBV (the Epstein-Barr virus which causes mono),
- CMV (cytomegalovirus infection),
- Parvovirus B19 (virus that causes “fifths” disease generally known as a common rash associated viral infection in children),
Testicular Lymphoma Survival rate
The outcomes of the proper treatment are quiet positive resulting in provision of high quality of life along the expansion in life span. As the survival rate of this disease is high but the risk of extra-nodal recurrences are also high especially in the region of central nervous system. So the aim in the choice of treatment option is not only the elimination of the source of the disease but also the prevention of recurrences. The fulfilment of this aim requires the establishment of better treatment surgeries.
Currently the survival rate of this disease is quiet promising which results in the extension of 10 or more years of life for approximately 88% of the affected individuals. While only 8% of this stated population may experience the recurrences of the disease.
Testicular Lymphoma Treatment
Usually the most common treatment option is the removal of the tumor but it acquires additional treatment to prevent the recurrences of the disease in other location of the body such as; other testicle, central nervous system and other extra-nodal sites.
Generally there are many treatment options which can be adopted according to the need of the patients as well as the recommendation by the professionals. These may include;
Surgical methods: it is also characterized as orchiectomy which involves the removal of testicles. It is commonly considered as the part of diagnosis.
Chemotherapy: The established regimen for the pharmacotherapy is known as CHOP which is administered along Rituxan (rituximab). The regimen includes the four drugs named as; Cytoxan (cyclophosphamide), Adriamycin (doxorubicin), Oncovin (vincristine), and Prednisone.
Targeted therapy: Human body naturally produces antibodies which helps to fight against bacteria and viruses. Along the chemotherapy Rituxan is also administered to provide the additional immunity as it is known as the man-made monoclonal antibody to fight against lymphoma cells.
Radiation therapy: This treatment option is adopted to minimize the chances of cancer from coming back in other testicles and it is often performed in the pelvic region.
Central nervous system prophylaxis: This is adopted as an additional treatment in order to prevent the recurrences of the disease.