Testicular cancer occurs when cancer cells form in one or both testicles. These cells begin to change or grow uncontrollably developing in a mass or a tumor. The cells can also invade the bloodstream and lymph system spreading the cancer to other areas of the body.
Unfortunately, not much can be done to prevent testicular cancer. It’s the most common form of cancer in men age 15-35. It’s also one of the most treatable and curable forms of cancer, but early detection is key. Detecting testicular cancer early in its most curable stages can result in nearly 100% cure rate.
Common signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:
- Painless lump or swelling of the testicle
- A change in how the testicle feels
- A dull ache in the groin or lower abdomen
- A buildup of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum
- A scrotum that feels heavy or swollen
- Bigger or more tender breasts
Men themselves, not doctors, find most testicular cancers as a painless lump or an enlargement or hardening of the testicle. This is why regular self-exams are so important. If you do notice any lumps or changes it is important to see a doctor immediately. Many men with testicular cancer do not feel ill and many times there is no pain involved.
How to do a self testicular exam (see diagram examples)
- If possible, stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotal skin.
- Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Firm but gently roll the testicle between the thumbs and fingers to feel for any irregularities on the surface or texture of the testicle.
- Find the epididymis, a soft rope-like structure on the back of the testicle. If you are familiar with this structure, you won’t mistake it for a suspicious lump.
If you notice any lumps or irregularities see a medical care professional right away. Keep in mind that not all lumps or irregularities are cancerous, however, only a medical care professional can make that determination. Waiting to see if it will go away will not help you.
If you have questions about testicular cancer, contact us about your concerns. For more information or to schedule an appointment call us at (662) 348-3342.
Source: Testicular Cancer Society
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