testicular 2The Cancer Resource Centers’ 2015 information series on cancer types: risk factors and symptoms is sponsored by CRC in collaboration with the Mendocino County Health and Human Services Agency. The information presented is for educational purposes and is not intended to replace the advice of your health care provider. We encourage you to discuss with your health care provider any questions or concerns that you may have.  

TESTICULAR CANCER AWARENESS

 Although testicular cancer is rare, it is the most common cancer for American males between the ages of 15 and 35. It is highly treatable, especially when discovered at an early stage.

RISK FACTORS OF TESTICULAR CANCER:

  • An undescended testicle.       (The majority of men who develop testicular cancer don’t have a history of undescended testicles.)
  • Abnormal testicle development. Family history. If family members have had testicular cancer, you may have an increased risk.
  • Age. Although testicular cancer can occur at any age, it mostly affects males between the ages of 15 and 35.
  • Race. Testicular cancer is most common in Caucasian men.

SYMPTOMS OF TESTICULAR CANCER:

  • A lump or enlargement in either testicle
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
  • Back pain

Testicular cancer usually affects only one testicle.

See your health care provider if you detect any pain, swelling or lumps in your testicles or groin area, especially if these signs and symptoms last longer than two weeks. Your health care provider may refer you to an urologist and/or an oncologist.

PREVENTION / EARLY DETECTION:

Currently, there is no evidence on strategies to prevent testicular cancer, but early detection can increase the possibility of successful treatment. Some health care providers recommend regular testicle self-examination so that you become familiar with your testicles and aware of any changes.

How to do a Testicular Self Examination:

  • Stand in front of a mirror.       Look for any swelling on the skin of the scrotum.
  • Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle while placing your thumbs on the top.
  • Gently roll the testicle between the thumbs and fingers. Remember that the testicles are usually smooth, oval shaped and somewhat firm.       It’s normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other. Also, the cord leading upward from the top of the testicle is a normal part of the scrotum.
  • If you find a lump, make an appointment with your health care provider.

(Sources: ACS www.cancer.org; Mayo Clinic www.mayoclinic.org)

To learn more, please contact the Cancer Resource Centers of Mendocino County.

Inland Office: 590 S. Dora Street, Ukiah (707-467-3828)
Coast Office: 45040 Calpella Street, Mendocino (707-937-3833)