Testicular cancer mostly affects men between 15 and 49 years of age and it is an abnormal growth of cells in the testicles.
Testicular cancer can appear as lumps on the testicles which are tumours, however, not all tumours are cancerous and not all lumps on the testes are tumours.
Testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers with an average five-year survival rate of 95%.
In the UK approximately 2,000 people are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year and it is most common in males aged 20 to 39.
Swelling or a lump in the testes is one of the first signs of testicular cancer.
If you have a family history of testicular cancer and are within the age bracket you should examine your testicles monthly for abnormalities.
Symptoms of testicular cancer include
A lump in one testicle which may or may not be painful.
A sharp pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen or scrotum
A feeling often described as ‘heaviness’ in the scrotum
Breast enlargement from hormones
Lower back pain due to spread of cancer to lymph nodes along your back
How to check your Testicles for lumps
Some doctors recommend that men should check and examine their testicles monthly after puberty for lumps.
The best time to carry out a self-exam is during or after a bath or shower when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed.
Hold the penis out of the way and check one testicle at a time.
Hold the testicle between your thumbs and fingers of both hands and roll it gently between your fingers.
Look around and feel around for any hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps or any change in the size, shape or consistency of the testicles.
It is normal for one testicle to be larger than the other and for one to hang lower than the other so don’t let this alarm you.
You may feel a small bump on the upper or middle outer side of the testicle, this is just the coiled tube for sperm.
When you begin to regularly check your testicles you will know what is normal and what is abnormal.
If you do encounter a sinister lump you should contact a healthcare provider right away.