Testicular cancer refers to cancer (a growth, lump) in or on your testicles (balls). It is the most common form of cancer among young men aged 15 to 40.
Many forms of cancer are very dangerous and even terminal but testicular cancer can be cured if it is found early and before it starts spreading to other parts of your body.
Signs of testicular cancer are a small pea-sized lump on the front or the side of either of your testicles, one or both of your testicles becoming significantly bigger, or dull pain in your testicles or scrotum. Your testicles could also feel significantly harder when you touch them, or may change from being smooth to lumpy.
Examine Your Testicles
- Do this after a warm bath or shower so that your scrotum is relaxed and soft.
- First look in a mirror and check whether the testicles are hanging normally – one testicle usually hangs lower and is slightly bigger. Look for any changes.
- Hold each testicle from behind and feel the front and sides with your thumb; it should feel smooth, spongy and not painful.
- Don’t worry about lumps at the back of your testicles; these are vessels for blood and tubes for semen to flow through.
- If you feel anything that may be abnormal or see any changes in your testicles go see your healthcare provider.
- Testicular cancer is usually treated with a simple operation, and if it is found and treated early there are no further problems.
Risk Factors For Testicular Cancer
- You are between 15 and 40 years old.
- You have male relatives (your father, brother, uncle or grandfather) who had testicular cancer.
- You have female relatives (your mother, sister, aunt or grandmother) who had breast cancer.
- You have either one or two undescended testicles (either one or both your testicles remain in your body and have not dropped into your scrotum).
- You smoke or used to smoke dagga (ganja, cannabis) regularly.