Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

By  , Expert Content
Dec 16, 2011

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Testicular cancer in early stages can be asymptomatic (without symptoms at all). It may be diagnosed incidentally when the person is being investigated for some other problem such as physical exams or ultrasound test or biopsy for diagnosis of infertility. As the cancer progresses, many men develop signs and symptoms.

Common sign and symptoms of testicular cancer include:

Painless lump or mass in the testicle: This is the most common symptom of testicular cancer. More than ninety percent of patients first note a painless lump or mass in the testicle. Some men may feel uncomfortable due to the lump but severe pain is rare.

Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum:
Some men may have a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum or lower abdominal aching.

Enlarged or swollen scrotum: Sometimes, there may be no lump or mass in the testicle, but the entire testicle may be enlarged or swollen (without a lump).

Dull ache in the abdomen or groin:
As the testicular cancer grows, it spreads to the lymph nodes and other organs (called metastasis). Lymph node in the rear of the abdomen is the most common site for the spread of testicular cancers. It may cause a heavy or aching feeling in the rear, lower belly or scrotum. Even after testicular cancer spreads to other organs (called metastasis), only about 25% men experience symptoms related to metastases.

Some rare symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • Breast development: Some testicular cancers such as germ cell tumours may secrete human chorionic gonadotropin hormone (HCG). If they secrete high levels of HCG, it can stimulate breast development. Some patients may have breast tenderness as well. Your doctor will test the level of HCG in your blood to diagnose this cancer.
  • Other symptoms: Men with metastasis of the cancer to lungs may experience cough, chest pain, and/or shortness of breath. Some cases may develop hemoptysis (sputum with blood).

These are some symptoms of testicular cancer. Similar symptoms, however, can be caused by several other conditions such as testicle injury or testicle infection. If you notice any of the above symptoms, consult your doctor. Early diagnosis of testicular cancer improves prognosis and response to treatment. Your doctor can diagnose the cause of symptoms and treat them accordingly.



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