Testicular Cancer


Testicular cancer mainly affects young men, with half of all cases occurring under the age of 35 years old. It is now four times more common than 50 years ago but many testicular cancers are curable, if caught early enough. The most common symptom is swelling in part of one testicle, which is usually painless although some men notice an ache or heaviness.

Testicle check
Be encouraged to check your testicles regularly for lumps - or get your spouse to check them.

1. Hold each testicle gently between the thumb and fingertips of both hands
2. Slowly bring the thumb and fingertips of one hand together while relaxing the fingertips of the other
3. Alternate this action so the testicle glides smoothly between both sets of fingers. This lets you assess the shape and texture of the testis - you may be able to feel a soft tube (epididymis) attached towards the top, at the back, which is normal
4. Repeat with the other testicle.

Each testicle should feel soft and smooth - like a boiled egg without its shell. If there are any lumps or irregularity, your man should tell his doctor straight away. Try not to panic. Many non-serious types of lump can also occur in the testes, but all need investigation just in case.

Testicular cancer-facts
A man's lifetime risk of developing testicular cancer is at least one in 450. If a man's brother has been affected, his risk rises to one in 50. A male born with an un-descended testicle is 36 times more likely to develop testicular cancer than one born with both testes in the scrotum.



The views on this page are those of Dr Sarah Brewer with whose permission the information on these health pages has been reproduced. Harvesters accepts no responsibility for any false or inaccurate information contained within these pages.