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Testicular cancer: what you need to know

Maya Griffiths

Maya Griffiths

We know what you’re thinking: testicular cancer- who wants to think about that? Well, nobody. But, by staying informed and checking yourself regularly you could save your life.

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer forms when cancer cells develop in the tissues of one or both testicles. It occurs most commonly in men between 15 and 49 years of age. Typical symptoms are painless swelling, lump/ lumps or a change in shape or texture. Get to know your body and perform regular checks on yourself.

The survival rate is over 95% and the average age of a man diagnosed is 35.

How do I check?

It’s advised to check yourself once a month. A good time to check is after a bath or shower when the skin is relaxed.

Take your finger and thumb and gently begin feeling around the testicles for any lumps, bumps or swellings. Be sure to get checked out if you find anything you’re concerned about or anything irregular.

Testicular Cancer UK have this handy video which tells you everything you need to know.

The symptoms

The most common symptom is a lump or swelling in the testicle. However, other symptoms include:

  • 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.

The facts

While testicular cancer is a fairly rare occurrence, accounting for only 1% of male cancers, around 2300 men are diagnosed per year in the UK. Most of those men will be younger than 49, and it is the most diagnosed cancer for younger males.

The illness can be passed on through genes. For example, if your father had cancer you’re around 4 times more likely to develop testicular cancer yourself.

Future outlook

Testicular cancer has the number 1 highest survival rate for all cancers. Treatment almost always involves removal of the infected testicle, but this won’t affect fertility.

For more information go to Testicular Cancer UK or the NHS website.

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