Testicular cancer affects young men (aged 18 to 39) and is the second most common cancer in young men.
Testicular cancer may cause no symptoms at all. The most common symptom is a painless swelling or a lump in a testicle. Less common symptoms include:
– feeling of heaviness and unevenness in the scrotum
– change in the size or shape of the testicle
– ache in the back, lower abdomen, the testicle or scrotum
– enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue.
Some factors that may increase a man’s risk of testicular cancer include:
– undescended testicle as an infant
– having a father or brother who has had testicular cancer.
There is no known link between testicular cancer and injury to the testicles, sporting strains, hot baths or wearing tight clothes.
Tests used to diagnose testicular cancer include:
– an ultrasound and
– blood tests for the tumour markers.
However, the only way to definitely diagnose testicular cancer is by surgical removal of the affected testicle. While many other types of cancers are diagnosed by biopsy (removing a small piece of tissue from the tumour), cutting into a testicle could spread the cancer to other parts of the body. Hence the whole testicle needs to be removed if cancer is strongly suspected.
The survival rate of testicular cancer is high (98%). The best thing you can do for your testicles is to give them a bit of a feel on a regular basis, and if something doesn’t seem right, come and see your GP.
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