Testicular cancer is a malignant growth or lump on the testicles. Testicular cancer is most common for males ages 15 to 35. When caught early, testicular cancer is highly treatable. People with testicular cancer may experience a variety of symptoms or signs. Sometimes, men with testicular cancer do not have any of these changes or the cause of a symptom may be a different medical condition that is not cancer. Having these symptoms does not mean that a man definitely has cancer.
Usually, an enlarged testicle or a small lump or area of hardness are the first signs of testicular cancer. Any lump, enlargement, hardness, pain, or tenderness should be evaluated by a doctor as soon as possible.
You have a painless lump in your testicle
One of the most common testicular cancer symptoms is a pain-free mass in the testicle, according to Joseph Harryhill, MD, an assistant clinical professor of urology at the University of Pennsylvania.
“It is important for men to realize that a tumour often does not cause any significant discomfort—thus the importance of regular testicular self-examination,” Harryhill said. Many times men will not notice the mass until they receive an unrelated injury, bringing the tumour to their attention. Moral of the story: Make sure you check yourself regularly for lumps and bumps.
You feel a heaviness in your scrotum
Although you may not feel pain, scrotum heaviness is one of the hallmark testicular cancer symptoms. “Some men describe a heaviness or dragging sensation in the scrotum, and this should be reported to the primary health care provider,” Harryhill said. A lingering ache or odd dragging sensation in your testicles is not something to ignore.
Your son is going through early puberty
Some testicular tumours produce androgen, a male sex hormone that causes signs of puberty in young men. Young boys who experience voice deepening and hair growth too early may have testicular cancer, according to the American Cancer Society. In order to protect your family, make sure to be aware of any unusual changes in your child’s growth.