Cancer Symptoms

Testicular Cancer Symptoms

What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer does not always produce symptoms. A mass or lump in the testicle is usually the first sign of the disease. The mass may or may not be painful. Other symptoms include testicular swelling, hardness, and a feeling of heaviness or aching in the scrotum or lower abdomen. Dramatic medical advances along with increased awareness of testicular cancer symptoms in the last two decades have helped to increase survival rates remarkably. Now, testicular cancer often is completely curable, especially if found and treated early.

Following are the testicular cancer symptoms:

  • The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump, irregularity or swelling in one testicle.
  • Testicular cancer symptoms occur most commonly in young men. Testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in men 25-35 years old. Patients often develop testicular cancer symptoms of a painless enlargement of the testicle. Many men will have a mass with associated pain. Some testicular cancer symptoms include the presence of a hydrocele, back pain, inguinal swelling, nausea, weight loss and constipation.
  • Some types of testicular cancer (e.g., choriocarcinoma, Leydig cell tumors, Sertoli cell tumors) produce high levels of hormones (e.g., human chorionic gonadotropin [HCG], estrogen, testosterone). Increased levels of HCG may cause breast tenderness and abnormal growth of breast tissue (gynecomastia). Increased levels of estrogen may cause a loss of sexual desire (libido) and increased levels of testosterone may cause premature growth of facial and body hair in boys.
  • A testicular cancer symptom indicating that it has spread to other organs (metastasized) may be low back pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough.
  • Testicular cancer has been associated with cryptochordism and Kleinfelter's syndrome. Testicular cancer symptoms are more likely to occur in men with a personal history of a previous testicular cancer or with a family history of testicular cancer.

It is important to see a doctor, preferably a urologist, if any of these testicular cancer symptoms occur. Early diagnosis of testicular cancer is especially important because the sooner cancer is found and treated, the better a man's chance for complete recovery and the easier the treatment procedure.

testicular cancer symptoms : cross section of the testis
Summary of testicular cancer symptoms
  • Pulling sensation or feeling of unusual heaviness in the scrotum.
  • Swelling in part of one testicle.
  • A significant shrinking of a testicle.
  • A lump in either testicle. The lump typically is pea-sized, but sometimes it is even bigger.
  • Dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the affected testicle.
  • Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum.
  • Feeling of `heaviness' in the scrotum.
  • Sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum (called a hydrocele).
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts.

These possible testicular cancer symptoms are not necessarily the result of testicular cancer and may be the result of a number of other ailments, however only a doctor can make that diagnosis. If you experience these possible testicular cancer symptoms, make it a priority to visit your doctor.

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