- Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men aged 15-44
- It affects around 2,000 men a year in the UK
- Testicular cancer is now more than 95% curable
WHAT IS TESTICULAR CANCER?
Cancer that develops in a testicle is called testicular cancer. The term “cancer” refers to a condition in which the regulation of cell growth is lost and cells grow uncontrollably. Most cells in the body are constantly dividing, maturing and then dying in a tightly controlled process. Unlike normal cells, the growth of cancer cells is no longer well regulated. Instead of dying, as they should, cancer cells outlive normal cells and continue to form new, abnormal cells. Often, only one testicle is affected and, if left untreated, it may spread throughout the body making early diagnosis crucial.
WHO GETS TESTICULAR CANCER?
It largely affects men aged 25-34, but is the most common cancer in men aged 15-44. Certain types of testicular cancer may occur in younger children or older men.
WHAT ARE THE RISKS OF TESTICULAR CANCER?
Men in the following categories could have a higher risk of developing testicular cancer:
- Those aged between 15 and 44
- Those with uncorrected, undescended testicles as an infant or young child
- Those with a family history of testicular cancer
- Those who are Caucasian
- Those who have had testicular cancer before
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF TESTICULAR CANCER?
Testicular cancer may cause a variety of signs and symptoms, but may also have none. Symptoms that men should look out for include:
- a small, painless lump in either testicle (the most common symptom)
- any enlargement of the testicle
- a feeling of heaviness in the testicle or groin
- a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin
- pain in the testicle or scrotum
- a change in the way a testicle feels
- growth or tenderness of the upper chest
- a sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
All men between 15 and 44 should become familiar with the shape and feel of their testicles and perform regular self-checks to detect any abnormalities.
If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed you should see your GP immediately. Most lumps are not cancerous but it is important to get them checked out by your doctor, early diagnosis is vital. If caught early, testicular cancer is 99% curable.