testicular cancer symptoms
Testicular cancer is a highly curable form of cancer and it affects only a small proportion of men. Generally only about 1% of all the cancer in men is testicular cancer but this form of cancer tends to hit men between 15 to 39 years of age. The symptoms of testicular cancer are also relatively unnoticeable and it is recommended that men self examine their testicles monthly; testicular self-examination (TSE). This is especially important as most of the men afflicted discovered the cancer by themselves, so TSE can help men discover the cancer in its early treatable stage.
How To Perform TSE?
How to perform TSE? Hold each testicle between the thumb and middle and index fingers. Feel for any small, hard lumps in or around the testicles or any changes in the testicles. What you are looking out for are symptoms such as:
- Pain or swelling in the testes.
- Lumps in the scrotum. It may not be painful.
- Abnormal increase in size of the testes, especially if it is just one side.
- Pain in the groin or back.
- Swelling of the scrotum.
If a lump is found in the scrotum, it could either be a cancer tumor or it could be a hydrocele, which is a accumulation of fluid around the testes. This may not be painful and is different from a cancer tumor as it can be differentiated by shining a light through the testicles; a hydrocele will allow light to pass through whereas a cancer tumor will not. Although hydrocele is common among men and can be caused by trauma or infection, one of the possible causes of a hydrocele is also cancer and it will still warrant medical attention.
Possible Causes For Testicular Cancer Symptoms
The presence of the above symptoms will necessitate a visit to the doctor, however it does not imply that testicular cancer is always the cause. If you are an athlete or play sports often, there is also a possibility that trauma to the scrotum has occurred especially so in contact sports like football or basketball. In such instance, pain or swelling can also be mistaken to be otherwise. Torsion or twisting of the testicles which is cause by the testicles twisting during sports or injuries, especially for young men, can also bring about swelling and pain. In the event of sudden swelling and pain to the testicles, immediate attention by a doctor is critical as blood supply to the testes could have been cut off due to the twisting of the testicles. Otherwise it may result in the lost of the testes if neglected.
Infection in the scrotum is also a common occurrence, among sexually active men. Epididymitis is a bacterial infection of the epididymis, which is the sperm carrying tube behind the testes. Sexually transmitted diseases are common causes of Epididymitis. Therefore if you are sexually active, not only should you take precaution against STD, you should be aware that the symptoms for testicular cancer can be similar to bacterial infection of the epididymis or testicles.
Doing a Testicular Self Examination regularly is important and when you find any of the above symptoms, you should see a doctor. Many men tend to ignore the symptoms as they find it embarrassing to speak to a doctor about such issues. Do not ignore the symptoms, see a doctor.
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