Testicular cancer is cancer that develops in a testicle, caused by abnormal growth of a cell in the testes. Usually only one testicle is affected, but it can affect both. Like all cancers, it is a potentially deadly disease. However, it is also highly curable. Typically testicular cancer occurs in younger men, under the age of 45. But it can also affect older men over 50.
Education and early detection is a key factor to surviving testicular cancer. This means knowing the signs and getting help without delay. Testicular cancer has the highest cure rate among all the cancers, with the survival rate being higher the earlier if it is detected early.
Unlike most other cancers you can also test yourself at home, which makes early detection even easier. When doing a self-examination at home, here are some common signs that may indicate a testicular tumor.
• A lump (testicular lump) on one or both of the testes. This is the most common sign. It may be painful, or it may not.
• Enlargement or swelling of a testicle or the scrotum.
• An unusual weighty feeling in the testicle.
• Pain or aching in the testicle, or scrotum.
• A feeling of unevenness between the testicles.
• Shrinking of the testicle.
Other signs of testicular cancer may include:
• Lower back pain or abdominal pain.
• Enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue.
• Lethargy, sweating, fever, or general feeling of illness.
• Headaches or confusion
The best way to ensure early detection of testicular cancer is to do a simple self-examination once a month at home. It is best to do this after a warm bath or shower, when the skin of the scrotum is most relaxed.
• Hold your penis out of the way or the way
• Gently roll each testicle between your fingers and thumb, one at a time.
• Check for any hard lumps, nodules or abnormalities (changes in the size or shape of the testicle).
• If you find anything of concern, you should see your doctor immediately.
It should be noted that each testicle has a small coiled tube on the upper or middle outer side of the testicle that may feel like an abnormality. This is the epididymis and is a part of the testes.
Dr Arianayagam is an expert in the field urological cancer surgery, including robotic surgery and laparoscopic surgery. He offers retroperitoneal node dissection for patients with testicular cancer and he works closely with medical and radiation oncologists to ensure the best treatments possible for all his patients.
If you have any further questions about testicular cancer and would like to book an appointment, please call Dr Arianayagam’s office on 1300 307 990 and his staff will be able to assist. Ensure you tell us you have a testicular lump – you will be seen very quickly.