A cancer that develops in the testicles, part of the male reproductive system.
Testicular cancer is one of the most common cancers in males aged between 15 and 35 but it also has one of the highest cure rates when detected early.
Men are encouraged to carry out frequent self-examinations and look out for the following symptoms:
- A lump or swelling in one or both testicles, may be painless
- Pain in a testicle or the scrotum
- Discomfort in a testicle or scrotum
- Sensation of heaviness in the scrotum
- Dull ache in the lower back, groin or abdomen
- Sudden accumulation of fluid in the scrotum
- Unexplained tiredness
These symptoms can be caused by many other things, but always get them checked out.
Testicular cancer is diagnosed with blood tests, ultrasound and/or biopsy and may be treated by surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy or a combination of any of these.
There are certain factors that may mean a higher risk such as:
- Undescended testicles
- Congenital abnormalities of the penis, kidneys or testicles
- Groin hernia
- Testicular cancer in the other testicle
- Familiy history
- Abnormal testicular developement
- Mumps orchitis
- Caucasian ancestry
How can you check yourself?
- After a bath or shower hold your scrotum in the palms of both hands, look for any swelling in the mirror.
- Feel the size and weight of each testicle.
- Press around looking for lumps or swellings (it is normal for testicles to be uneven in size).
- Check for any increase in size or weight since last time you checked.
- Feel each testicle individually, roll them between thumbs and fingers, it should feel smooth, oval and firm with no lumps or swellings. It is normal for the top and back of the testicle to feel tender.
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