Testicular cancer affects the testicles, which are located inside the scrotum underneath the penis. It is rare compared to other types of cancer and only affects males. Even when cancer has spread beyond the testicle, this type of cancer is highly treatable.
- Lump or enlargement in one or both testicles
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in scrotum or testicles
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Back pain
Causes & Risk Factors
There is no known cause of testicular cancer. Almost all types of testicular cancer originate in the germ cells, which are cells in the testicles that produce immature sperm.
Risk factors include:
- Increasing age
- Being caucasian
- Having a family history of testicular cancer
- Abnormal testicle development
- An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism)
If you experience certain symptoms, your doctor will run tests to rule out cancer. Tests include a blood test and ultrasound. If there is a sizable lump on the testicle, the testicle can be surgically removed and biopsied.
There are two types of testicular cancer:
Based on the extent of cancer, your doctor will assign it to a stage (0 to 3). Stage 1 means the cancer is confined to the testicle and is the most easily treatable. Stage 3 is considered advanced and means cancer has spread to other areas of the body.
The treatment plan will depend on the type of cancer, its stage, and the patient’s health. Treatment options may include:
- Surgical removal of the testicles
- Surgical removal of nearby lymph nodes
- Radiation therapy