About two years ago, Sara Foreman, the mother of Nayte Elliott was shaken to know that her two-year-old baby boy is suffering from testicular cancer. This was probably the youngest patient of testicular cancer to date. The baby was having a rare form of testicular cancer, which was extremely dreadful news for everyone.
The only symptom in the young boy was “extreme swelling in one testicle”. The mother says that it was five times bigger than the normal size. However, the doctors saw it perfectly normal and only gave him Panadol for pain relief.
The mother shares this incident to be a casual thing because the boy was learning to ride his bike. It could be a small injury, anything but not testicular cancer. Still, she was able to take her boy to the doctor and they assured its nothing to worry about. When the condition wasn’t improving with common medicines, the doctors did some tests and diagnosed two years old baby boy was suffering from testicular cancer.
The constant threat to health
It was a surprising thing for the doctors to see such a young patient of testicular cancer. The believed that the tumor is growing inside the testicles of the young boy. Fortunately, the doctors were able to diagnose it on time and cancer didn’t spread to the whole body.
The boy was under surgery to remove the right testicle. After two years, now this youngest patient of testicular cancer is living a healthy life. He is clear of cancer but his mother is living under a constant threat and fear concerning his health.
Sara is always checking him and her other boys for any suspicious body changes. Nayte has his regular ultrasounds and blood tests every few months to assure doctors that he is free of cancer. Often times cancer recurs and there is not much clinical information on young patients of testicular cancer. That is why doctors and the parents of Nayte, now four years old are extra careful about his health.
Testicular cancer in young children
Testicular cancer is a tumor growth on or inside testicles. These tumors are germ cell masses that fail to develop into mature healthy cells. Many of these cellular growths are benign at the start, it means they grow but do not spread to other body parts. But sometimes they grow in testicles and spread to lymph nodes, spine, liver, lungs, brain, and other body parts.
The physical exam and history are not enough to determine testicular cancer. Other tests such as CT scan, ultrasound, biopsy, MRI and serum marker test help to diagnose it accurately.
The Cancer Council estimates that approximately 750 children between ages 0-14 years are an annual target of cancer in Australia. Nearly half of this number is below four years old children. The survival rate is somehow improved from 73% in 1993 to 85% in 2013 as per PDQ Cancer Information Summaries’ Childhood Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia Treatment (2019).
The affected testicle is often removed by a surgery called orchiectomy. There is no negative effect on the other testicle and sometimes it becomes larger to counterbalance the removed testicle. There is not sufficient data on adult years of childhood orchiectomy cases. But generally, doctors agree that sperms normally grow in the other testicle after the child hits puberty.