Testicular cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in one or both testicles. Like many other parts of the body, testicles can be affected by certain conditions and diseases, which can lead to symptoms. Most often, testicular cancer can be detected early on, and men often find the cancer themselves while performing self-examinations. It’s recommended that men ages 15 to 55 should perform routine self-examinations to identify any possible changes. However, some testicular cancers may show no symptoms and may go undetected until they reach an advanced stage.
Symptoms may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Lumps – If detected early, a painless lump may develop that will likely be about the size of a pea, but can grow much larger if left untreated. Any lump, enlargement or tenderness of the testicle should be evaluated by a doctor immediately.
- Pain – Pain or discomfort in the testicle that may or may not be accompanied by swelling can be a warning sign. It should be noted that pain can be caused by a variety of maladies, including injuries, infection and possibly cancer. Your physician will be able to diagnose the cause of any pain in the testicles.
- Heaviness – A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum may be a sign of testicular cancer.
- Pressure in abdomen – A dull pain or feeling of pressure in the lower belly, groin or lower back may be cause for concern. Testicular cancer that has spread (metastasized) beyond the testicles and lymph nodes to other organs may cause this and other symptoms like sweating, depending on the area of the body affected.
- Fluid – A sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum.
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts – Testicular tumors can produce hormones that cause breast growth and/or tenderness – a condition known as gynecomastia.
It’s important to remember that while cancer is one possible cause of testicular symptoms, more often these symptoms are caused by infection, injury or something else. Always see a doctor regarding any changes you notice in one or both testicles because even non-cancerous testicular issues can be very serious.
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To contact a urology navigator for more information, call 678-843-5665.