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Testicular Cancer

Testicular Cancer is a tumour that arises in the testicle (balls) and may spread to other organs in the body.  

In a Nutshell

What is Testicular Cancer?

  • Testicular cancer is a tumour that arises in the testicle (balls) and may spread to other organs in the body
  • It is the most common cause of cancer in young men (age 15-40)
  • It is a curable cancer especially if detected early
  • Screening yourself regularly will ensure that any problems are detected early

Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer

  • Young men age 15-40
  • Testicular cancer in male relatives or breast cancer in female relatives
  • A testes that failed to descend into the scrotum in childhood
  • Cannabis use

Signs of Testicular Cancer

  • Hard pea-sized lump in the front or side of the testicle
  • Enlargement of one testicle
  • A change in feel of the testicle from spongy to hard
  • A change in the contour of a testicle from smooth to lumpy
  • Dull pain or “heaviness” in the testicle or scrotum

How to Screen for Testicular Cancer

  • You should do this after a warm bath or shower which relaxes the scrotum
  • Stand in front of a mirror to check for changes in the appearance of the testicles
  • Note that one testicle usually hangs lower and may be larger than the other one but this should not change over time
  • Next, feel each testicle separately
  • Hold each testicle from behind with the 2nd and 3rd fingers and feel the front and sides with your thumb
  • Note the size, shape and texture of the testicle. It should be smooth, spongy and not painful
  • Lumps may be found in the vessels and tubes behind the testicle with are not cancer
  • If you find any new abnormality, go see your doctor.


  • Treatment is usually surgical and early disease is usually completely curable
  • Treatment of early disease does not usually affect fertility or sexual function
  • Treatment of late disease is more difficult and causes more complications


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