The spermatogenesis is one of the leading processes in male’s body, which is responsible for cascade of events, so any disruption may cause various of pathologies that can result in male’s infertility. Nowadays, one of the most common diseases related to male’s reproductive system is cancer. It was found that in many cases the even development of such treat alone may cause problems with semen being infertile as steps involves in cancerous development seriously affect spermatogenesis. There is a probability that several factors influence on poor semen starting from the origins of germ cells and ending with disturbances in endocrinal and immunological systems that control and regulate the release of hormones and signals within the whole body. But usually, there could be several factors at once including a combination of environmental (i.e. pollution), genetic (i.e. mutation in Th2a and Th2b genes, which influence on chromatin condensation during spermatogenesis and contribute to the activation of the paternal genome after fertilization) and perinatal. Generally, cancer is the consequence of rapid and uncontrolled cell division of abnormal cells. Such intense cell growth can occur anywhere in the body and is likely to have a spreading effect on cells and body tissues. In fact, cancer might spread through lymph system, blood or via tissue.
Types of Cancers
Usually, cancers get named after the body part, where they originally start. Therefore, most common cancer types in males are known to be:
• Prostate cancer
• Penile cancer (least common)
• Testicular cancer (most common in young man)
To begin with, prostate cancer usually occurs in man of older age such as in those, who are 65 and above. It begins in prostate gland inside the pelvis (located between the hip bones in males). Prostate cancer is found to be very fatal as if left untreated the malignancy will spread rapidly via the venous plexus of the prostate and eventually reach the vertebra producing metastases in the brain. Unfortunately, more than a quarter of cancerous patients present with metastatic disease at the time of that diagnosis. Early symptoms include weak flow of the urine, back pain, erectile dysfunction as well as traces of blood in the urine.
2 Main causes:
One of the potential causes are the genetic predisposal. Changes and mutations in the SRY gene are linked to cause gonadal disruption as well as tumours. It is found that the cells of TGCCs came from primordial germ cells having alterations to the DNA in the Y chromosome. Chronic oxidative stress seems to be found in infertile patients indicates a deficiency in DNA repair pathways, producing unstable genomic components connected to various cancers. A common tumour suppressor gene susceptible to damage is the p53 gene, is a necessary requirement for stopping the tumour. It was found that p53 is furthermore a crucial factor for a proper meiosis within the primary spermatocytes. And any mutations in p53 may lead to instability, raising the chance of cancer development.
Endocrine factors are another possible cause. Various hormones are responsible for normal development of spermatozoa and any imbalance in hormonal pathway disrupts the work of seminiferous tubules, which then negatively affect spermatogenesis in the ways of: low secretion of hormones by the endocrine glands and arise of tumorous tissue (which secretes its own hormones such as Beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin and AFP that were mentioned previously.
In fact, there could be various causes for male cancer development with diverse side effects. Ones may cause cancer upon exposure, others will turn cells into a “hibernation state (being activated at the puberty stage due to increased endocrinal activity) causing cancerous cells proliferation and rapid growth.
Ways to test presence of these cancers:
1. Physical exam and patient’s history. Is usually the easiest and most general way to check for presence of cancer. It includes physical examination for presence of any lumps or unusual feelings 9 pain, swellings, rushes) within the reproductive organs
2. Serum tumour marker test. This procedure involves collection of a blood sample that helps to identify which substances are released into the blood by organs. Some substances, that are called tumour markers usually increase in quantities if the patient has any sign of cancer. Therefore, the tumour markers such as AFP and Beta-human chorionic gonadotrophin are used to identify cancerous cells.
3. Ultrasound exam involves use of high-energy waves that result in echoes from internal tissues of reproductive organs. A procedure in which high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) are bounced off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes result in ability to produce a sonogram-picture body tissues.
The choice of treatment usually depends on the type of the cancer, however, only the specialist might select the right one. Despite this, treatment may not always exclude the chance having this disease as it might migrate to other areas or even come back. However, all cases are strictly individual and there is always a chance of full recovery.
Radiation therapy involves high energy-x-rays to kill the cancerous cells and to stop them from spreading. Radiation is divided into external (use of machine outside the body) is usually used on testicular cancer; and internal (action is direct involving needles, wires and catheters which would be placed on cancerous organ).
Chemotherapy include the use of drags. It could be performed via drugs entering the blood stream directly (injection of muscles/veins) or the mouth. Chemotherapy has a strong effect on cancerous cells and on the immune system in general. So, the patient may experience fatigue, hair loss and weight loss.
High-dose chemotherapy with stem cell transplant a procedure of giving doses of chemotherapy and blood replacement. This way the patient receives new immune system to fight the cancer more effectively. The stem cells are derived from the bone marrow of a healthy donor and stored frozen until cancerous patient finishes chemotherapy course. Finally, they are injected into the cancerous patient for formation of new blood cells.