Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in American males between the ages of 15 and 34. Most testicular tumors are found during an at home self-examination or by accident. One of the first noticeable symptoms is a painless lump on one testicle. The lump is typically pea sized but may be as large as a marble or even an egg. Other symptoms include an enlarged testicle, a feeling of heaviness, an ache in the groin or lower abdomen, or enlargement or tenderness in the breast. If you experience any of these signs or symptoms it is important to see a health professional quickly.
Since most testicular cancer is found during a self exam it is important to do these exams on a monthly basis.
The American Cancer Society recommends following these steps every month:
- Stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotum skin.
- Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers. Don't be alarmed if one testicle seems slightly larger than the other. That's normal.
- Find the epididymis, the soft, tube-like structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. If you are familiar with this structure, you won't mistake it for a suspicious lump. Cancerous lumps usually are found on the sides of the testicle but can also show up on the front.
- If you find a lump, see a doctor right away. The abnormality may not be cancer, but if it is, the chances are great that it will spread if not stopped by treatment. Only a physician can make a positive diagnosis.
If you find a lump you can make an appointment at Health Services by calling 580-5550 or by stopping by our office in Tower. For more information on
testicular cancer you can contact the office of Health Promotions or visit the Mayo Clinic online.