Cancer

Testicular Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Early Detection

Nov 11 • 2014
Testicular Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Early Detection

Testicular Cancer: Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Early Detection

Many cancers are known for being developed later on in life, but did you know that testicular cancer is most commonly diagnosed in men between the ages of 15 and 35? Like other cancers, testicular cancer is most easily treated when it is found early. In honor of Men’s Health Awareness Month, read on to find out more about the risk factors, symptoms, and how to self-test for the best chance of early detection.

Risk Factors
Men between the ages of 18 and 40 have the highest risk for developing this disease. While the causes are unknown, there are some possible factors that can increase men’s risk:

  • Undescended testes at birth
  • Previous occurrence of testicular cancer
  • Family history
  • Down syndrome

Warning Signs
While men may experience little to no symptoms, there are some important warning signs to keep an eye out for. If you have noticed one or a combination of these, inform your doctor.

  • Swelling or a lump in either testicle
  • Feelings of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Changes in the shape or size of the testicles
  • Build-up of fluid in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of breast tissue
  • Aching in the lower abdomen or groin
  • Pain or discomfort in either testicle or scrotum

Self-Exam
The best way to catch testicular cancer early is to perform a self-exam during or after a shower when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed.

  • Hold your penis out of the way and check one testicle at a time.
  • Hold the testicle between the thumbs and fingers of both hands. Roll it gently between your fingers.
  • Feel and look for smooth, rounded bumps, hard lumps, or any changes in the shape, size, or consistency of your testicles.

The more often you do this you will begin to see what is normal for your body and easily be able to tell when something is different. While there are many other things that can cause swelling in the testicles, if you notice anything that causes concern or doubts you should reach out to your doctor.

This Movember, commit to developing the habit of regular self-exams, if you haven’t already. Share how you plan to support men’s health in the comments section.