Testicular Torsion is a medical emergency where the the spermatic cord becomes twisted and consequently the blood flow to the testicles is blocked. This condition is usually noticed in young boys or adolescent boys. Testicular torsion may occur due to spasm in the muscles after strenuous exercise or inadequate connective tissue within the scrotum.
Testicular torsion results in excruciating pain. There is swelling and pain in the scrotum. A person suffering from testicular torsion may vomit or faint on account of the pain. There may be a lump in the testicles and blood might be noticed in the semen. Diagnosis and immediate treatment is vital if the testicles and their reproductive functions are to be saved. Surgery involves sewing the testicles to the inner side of the scrotum to prevent recurrence of testicular torsion. If the blood supply to the testicles is cut off for a long period of time, they may need to be surgically removed.
Testicular Cancer occurs to men in the age group 20 - 35 years. Men suffering from undescended testicle are at higher risk for developing testicular cancer. Seminoma is a type of testicular cancer where there is a single type of testicular cell. On the other hand, teratoma indicates more than one type of testicular cell. In the early stages of testicular cancer, the cancer is restricted to only one testicle. It later spreads to nearby lymph nodes and abdomen and other parts of the body.
Symptoms of testicular cancer include swelling or lump in one testicle. There may be a dull ache in the lower area of the abdomen. A man suffering from testicular cancer may have hydrocele (collection of fluid in the scrotum). The scrotum may feel heavy.
Regular self examination of the testicles can go a long way in detecting testicular cancer at an early stage. It is essential to keep on the lookout for any enlargements or lumps on the testicles. An ultrasound can help detect any irregularities in the testicles. surgery involves removal of the affected testicle (orchidectomy). Abdominal lymph nodes are also removed in case they are affected. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy drugs are used in the treatment of testicular cancer. The treatment is based on the stage and spread of cancer.
AFP Test or Alpha-fetoprotein test is conducted on pregnant women to check the AFP level in the blood. The liver in the fetus produces AFP naturally. Determining the amount of AFP in the mother's blood will help identify any neural tube defect in the fetus. Neural tube defects arise in 2 out of every 1,000 pregnancies. AFP test also helps check for Down's syndrome. There are 60% chances for detecting Down's syndrome when the AFP levels are low in the blood. AFP can also be calculated from the sample of amniotic fluid of a pregnant woman. This screening test is generally performed between 16 and 18 weeks of pregnancy and is very sensitive between 15 and 17 weeks. The accuracy of the AFP test result lies in the exact age of the fetus. The AFT test is also referred to as maternal serum alpha-fetoprotein (MSAFP). AFP test is done on men and non-pregnant women too to confirm cancer in the testicles, stomach, pancreas, liver and the ovaries. High levels of AFP can indicate renal cell cancer.
Interpretation of AFP test results: In men and non-pregnant women, the values of the AFP test is 0-6.4 IU/mL (international units per milliliter), 0-20 nanograms per milliliter (ng/mL) or 0-20 micrograms per liter. In pregnant women of about 15 - 22 weeks gestation, the AFP results usually show 19-75 IU/mL, 7-124 ng/mL or 7-124 microgram per liter. AFP test values vary depending on the weight of the woman and race. Black women have higher values than white women and white women have higher values than Asian women. High AFP can suggest multiple pregnancies, fetus with neural tube defects, and abdominal wall defect in the fetus or fetal death. In non-pregnant adults, high AFP values mean cancer in the testicles or ovaries. High AFP can also indicate liver disease and bowel inflammation.
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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 22, 2019