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Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

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Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Source: Testicular Cancer Info I Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation — Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation


Testicular Cancer Signs and Symptoms | American Cancer Society

Testicular cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in one or both of the testicles. It occurs when germ cells (sexual reproductive cells) experience abnormal growth. Germ cells, like stem cells, have the potential to form any cell in the body. Normally these cells lie dormant until sperm fertilizes an egg. If germ cells become cancerous, they multiply, forming masses of cells called tumors, that begin to invade normal tissue. When this happens, these cells have the potential to form a variety of embryonic-like features including, but not limited to, hair, nails, teeth etc.


Testicular cancer can metastasize, meaning that it can spread to other parts of the body. During this time, cells leave the original tumor and migrate from the testicle to other parts of the body through blood and lymph vessels, forming new tumors. Testicular cancer spreads most often to the abdomen, liver, lungs, bones and brain. Testicular cancer can spread rapidly and is deadly if left untreated.


Testicular cancer has a very fast onset. If not detected early, the cancerous tumors can grow rapidly, with the ability to double in size in just 10 - 30 days.


Most often, the first symptom of testicular cancer is a lump on the testicle, or the testicle becomes swollen or larger. (It’s normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other, and for one to hang lower than the other). Some testicular tumors might cause pain, but most of the time they don't. Men with testicular cancer can also have a feeling of heaviness or aching in the lower belly (abdomen) or scrotum.

Even if testicular cancer has spread to other parts of the body, many men might not have symptoms right away. But some men might have some of the following:

  • Low back pain, from cancer spread to the lymph nodes (bean-sized collections of immune cells) in the back of the belly.

  • Shortness of breath, chest pain, or a cough (even coughing up blood) may develop from cancer spread in the lungs.

  • Belly pain, either from enlarged lymph nodes or because the cancer has spread to the liver.

  • Headaches or confusion, from cancer spread in the brain.


There is no standard or routine screening test used for early detection of testicular cancer. Most often, testicular cancer is first found by men themselves, either by chance or during self-exam. Sometimes the cancer is found by a doctor during a routine physical exam.


Talk with your CCH healthcare provider about the best testicular cancer screening method for you.


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