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Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is quite rare. Testicular cancer can affect men of all ages but is more common in young men.

Have I got any signs of cancer of the testicle?

Testicular cancer may cause no symptoms.

  • a painless swelling or a lump in a testicle.
  • feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • change in the size or shape of the testicle
  • feeling of unevenness between the two testicles
  • pain or ache in the lower abdomen, the testicle or scrotum
  • back pain
  • enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue (due to hormones created by cancer cells).
  • Swelling of 1 or both legs, shortness of breath from a blood clot can be symptoms of testicular cancer.

Am I at risk of testicular cancer?

Some factors that may increase a man's risk of testicular cancer include:

  • undescended testicle (when an infant)
  • family history
  • previous cancer in the other testicle
  • fertility problems
  • HIV or AIDS
  • congenital defect
  • There is no known link between testicular cancer and injury to the testicles, sporting strains, hot baths or wearing tight clothes.

Self-examination for testicular cancer

  • Testicular cancer is very often curable but you need to find it early. All young men should regularly check their testicles monthly for any lumps or swelling.
  • Check yourself after a warm bath or shower, when the skin of your scrotum is relaxed. Examine each testicle in turn by rolling it gently between your fingers and thumb. Also check the tube at the back of the testicle for any swelling.
  • A healthy testicle feels firm and smooth. It is normal for one testicle to be slightly bigger or to hang lower than the other. If you notice any changes, lumps or swelling in your testicle, see a doctor straight away.

How will I get tested?

Visit your GP who may request further investigation.

  • Ultrasound
  • Blood tests
  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scan
  • Biopsy

My results are positive...what happens next?

Your GP will refer you to a surgeon or a Medical Oncologist who will discuss treatment options with you.

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy
Last updated: 3 June 2021