Cancer kills the most number of people around the world. Testicular cancer may not be the most common form of cancer, however, is a concern for young men. Accumulation of abnormal cells in one or both of your testes, can cause testicular cancer. If you are aged between 20 to 34 years, then it is more likely to affect you. It can be treated and cured, if found in the early stages, so make sure you know the signs.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
- Lump or swelling found in a testicle (remember they can even be very small)
- Pain in the groin, scrotum, back or lower abdomen
- Change in testicle size
- Change in the feel of the testicle
- Heaviness of scrotum
- Bloating in the abdomen
- Lower sex drive
Rarely, it can even cause the production of a female hormone oestrogen, which can result in swelling or tenderness of the region around the nipples.
Who is at risk for the cancer?
The risk is higher among younger men, only 9% of men get this cancer after 50 years of age. If you have a family history of testicular cancer, it is advisable to have regular checks. Also, HIV-positive individuals or those with Klinefelter’s syndrome are more likely to develop this condition. If your testicle did not descend to your scrotum, which is known as a condition called cryptorchidism, then you may be at risk to develop the cancer. Therefore, it is worth noting the plausible risks.
How to test for it?
You can conduct a self-examination at home by checking your testicles for any bumps or swelling. Also, make sure both testicles are roughly the same size. However, the doctor can diagnose you with the following tests:
- Ultrasound scans can detect the size of the cancerous growth in the testicle. They can locate the lump, as well.
- Blood tests measure the levels of proteins or enzymes released by tumours. Common blood tests include alpha-fetoprotein (AFP) and human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG).
- Surgery is an invasive way to confirm the presence of the tumour.
- In rare occasions, removing a small portion of the testicle, known as a biopsy, is performed to detect the cancer. However, a biopsy can cause spreading of the cancer cells.
Hence, if you are a young man take note of these signs for testicular cancer.