Cancer that usually starts in the testicles is referred to as testicular cancer. This kind of cancer may develop in one or both of the testicles. Mostly the tumors are usually metastatic and can spread to the other organs of the body such as the lungs, brain, and the lymph system and may lead to very serious illnesses or in severe circumstances even death. Testicular cancer is usually a very rare form of cancer accounting for just about 1 percent of all male cancers. Testicular cancer is however very common in males who are aged between 15 years to 35 years. Fortunately, it is one of the easiest to treat cancers especially if it is early diagnosed. Diagnosing it in its early stages before it spreads to other areas increases its successful treatment. However, late diagnosis usually lowers the rate of successful treatment. This is why going for screening for the possibility of testicular cancer is useful.
Some Risk Factors For Testicular Cancer
- Research suggests that testicular cancer is more prevalent in Caucasian men who are aged between 15 – 35 years. This does not mean that it cannot occur in men of other races or age.
- Testicular cancer has not been linked to certain kinds of lifestyle, habits, or activities like bicycle riding.
- There are certain conditions like undescended testicles, abnormal testicular development and a family genetics of testicular cancer may increase the possibility of a person developing it.
NOTE: it is important to note that most men who develop testicular cancer usually have no risk factors whatsoever.
What are Some Common Signs Of Testicular Cancer?
In most instances men with testicular cancer will be able to detect cancer alone even without the help of a doctor. Any painless lump, enlargement or hardening of the testicles should be a red flag for men. This is why regular self-examination by men for testicular cancer is advised. Men who notice lumps or any changes in their testicles should see their doctors immediately. Most men who have testicular cancer usually do not get ill or even feel pain.
Below Are Some More Signs For Testicular Cancer:
- An enlargement of a testicle.
- Significant loss of size in one of the testicles.
- Feelings of heaviness in the scrotum.
- Dull pain in the lower part of the abdomen, groin or the back.
- When there is a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum.
- The pain felt in a testicle or the scrotum.
- When breasts get enlarged or tender.
How can you do a Self Testicular Exam?
As earlier discussed self-examination for testicular cancer is important so how can you do it? You should do self testicular cancer examination at least once every month. If you notice changes in one or both testicles then seeking the attention of a doctor is advised. Most testicular cancers have been found by the affected men themselves or their sexual partners more than physicians. Practicing self-examinations also help men to get familiar with their testicles in the process making it easier for noticing changes.
The best time to do a self-exam for testicular cancer is after taking a warm bath because the warmth helps to relax the scrotum making the exam much easier. You should however not be alarmed to find that one testicle is a little larger than the other as it may be normal.
Tips For Doing A Self-Testicular Examination
- It is advisable to stand in front of a mirror and then check for any possible inflammation on the scrotum.
- You are to examine the testicles with your two hands. You should place your index and middle fingers beneath the testicles with your thumb placed on the top. You can then firmly but gently roll the testicle between the thumbs and your fingers to be able to feel if there is any abnormal surface texture of your testicle.
- Locate the epididymis, which is a soft like structure found on the back of the testicle. Also, examine, this for any irregularities on its texture and if you notice any seeks the attention of the doctor right away.
Testicular cancer is the least common type of cancer that affects men, but it is the number one cancer which affects men who are aged between 15 to 35 years. As mentioned above there exist certain risk factors for a person to develop this cancer but in most cases men who developed it had no risk factors. This is why it is important for men to do regular self examinations of testicular cancer because self exams done by men themselves have been found to lead to more detection than those done by physicians. Remember when it is detected early the better your chances of treating it.