The most common form of cancer for men in their 30s, testicular cancer and its symptoms should not be overlooked. While not as common as other types of cancer and easily treated, testicular cancer still causes hundreds of deaths each year and thousands will be diagnosed with it this year. What are the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer?
You may simply have swelling and no pain in one or both testicles if you have testicular cancer. This swelling could be due to a buildup of fluid in the scrotum, a tumor, or some type of infection, all of which could be a symptom of testicular cancer. Your testicles might feel different—one of them may be firmer or larger than the other, or it might be smaller. If you’re experiencing any kind of abnormality, including swelling, with your testicles, schedule an appointment with your doctor right away.
The pain could be coming from your testicles or scrotum, or you might just feel an aching in your lower abdomen or back. You could also feel a kind of heaviness that may feel akin to an aching down there. Be aware of how your body feels normally so that you can notice any differences right away when something is amiss. Any type of persistent pain or aching in your lower abdomen or genital area could indicate that you have testicular cancer and should be evaluated by your doctor.
A lump in one or both testicles is an obvious sign of testicular cancer, but to find evidence of these lumps, you need to be doing routine self-examinations. Self-examinations are easy to perform, take up minimal time, and can be a great proactive measure against testicular cancer. These are best performed after a bath or shower when the scrotum is relaxed and it will be easiest to feel any lumps. Lumps could be tumors where the cancer is manifesting itself—if you detect any lumps in your testes, chances are it’s something that will need to be checked out.
Although a less common symptom, it’s certainly a distinct one—breast tenderness in men is unusual and should be checked by a physician because it could indicate that testicular cancer is present. Breast tenderness will usually happen if testicular tumors are present, as some testicular tumors release high levels of a hormone called human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), which stimulates the growth of breast tissue and development, therefore causing tenderness in the area.
It’s important to know the signs of testicular cancer so that your knowledge can help lead to an early diagnosis if you experience any of these symptoms. Early detection of testicular cancer can help tremendously with your treatment—the earlier you’re diagnosed, the less intense and more successful your treatment will be.