Testicular cancer is an uncommon, but serious disease that can occur in men at any age (mostly between ages 15 and 34). As with many other cancers, testicular cancer can be successfully treated when found at an early stage. Although it has been found that there are few risk factors of testicular cancer, there are some instances when a man may be predisposed, such as a family history, having an undescended testicle, or an HIV infection.
Your doctor may check your testicles as part of your annual physical, but you should check yourself regularly in between appointments.
How to Perform a Testicular Self-exam
- Perform an exam when your scrotum is relaxed (for example, after showering).
- Hold one testicle at a time and roll it between your thumb and fingers.
- Check for lumps. They can be hard or smooth and round. If you have had a bump in the past, check and make sure it hasn’t changed in size, shape, or consistency.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms
Some common symptoms of testicular cancer include:
- Lump on the testicles (may be painless)
- Swollen or enlarged testicle without a lump
- Heavy feeling in the scrotum or lower stomach
- Breast soreness or growth (rare)
If you notice a lump or a change in your testicles, you should see your doctor right away. When at your annual check-up, be sure to ask your physician to perform a testicular exam if he/she did not already do one. Remember: early detection is key.
Have you scheduled your annual check-up yet? Do you have questions about testicular cancer? Get in touch with an expert at the UPMC Hillman Cancer Center today.