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Testicular Cancer

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is not a common cancer diagnosis, but it is most often seen in young people. Although people of any age who have testicles may develop testicular cancer, about one-half of testicular cancers are diagnosed in people ages 20–34.

Testicular cancer is usually curable when found early and treated appropriately; treatment is often successful even at later stages.

Screening

Ask your health care provider to examine your testicles as part of your routine physical exam.

Self-exam: Talk with your health care provider about the testicular self-exam. It is one way to get to know what is normal for you. If you notice a change, see your health care provider right away.

Reduce Your Risk

  • Ask your health care provider to examine your testicles as part of your routine physical exam and talk with your health care provider about the testicular self-exam.
  • Family health: If you have a child who was born with an undescended testicle, talk with your health care provider about correcting it before your child reaches puberty.

What Puts You at Increased Risk for Testicular Cancer?

If you have testicles, you are at increased risk of testicular cancer if you: 

  • Had an undescended testicle at birth or other abnormal development of the testes.
  • Have a genetic disorder caused by having an extra X chromosome.
  • Have a personal or family history of testicular cancer.
  • Are infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).
  • Are white. White people are more likely than other races to develop testicular cancer.

Although people of any age who have testicles may develop testicular cancer, about one-half of testicular cancers are diagnosed in people ages 20–34.

Symptoms

Talk with your health care provider right away if you have any of these symptoms:

  • A painless lump, enlargement or swelling in either testicle
  • A change in how the testicle feels
  • Dull aching in the lower abdomen, back or groin
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • Sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum

Treatment Options

Treatment depends on the stage and type of cancer and the size of the tumor. It also depends on whether the cancer has spread beyond the testicle. Treatment is usually successful and can include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, alone or in combination.

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