Getting Smart About Testicular Cancer
A number of non-cancerous conditions, such as testicular injury, can produce symptoms similar to those of testicular cancer. Inflammation of the testicle (orchitis) caused by viral or bacterial infections can result in painful swelling. Although cancer of any kind is a frightening diagnosis, testicular cancer is highly treatable and usually curable.
The good news is that if you are a man worried about the possibility of having testicular cancer, the odds are in your favor that you do not. The best way to fight this kind of cancer or keep from worrying is to ask a physician about any changes in your testicles, such as one appearing much larger or harder than the other.
Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer
Fortunately, testicular cancer is very rare. It typically develops in one or both testicles in young men. Having had an undescended testicle as a child is a risk factor for developing testicular cancer as an adult.
Most cases can be found at an early stage due to a lump on the testicle. Often the first sign of a problem, the lump can be painless but slightly uncomfortable and may cause testicular enlargement or swelling. Men with testicular cancer often report a sensation of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum, but some men have no symptoms at all, and their cancer is found during medical testing for other conditions. Sometimes, imaging tests or testicular biopsies done to find the cause of infertility can uncover a small testicular cancer. Whatever the symptoms, see a physician as soon as possible.