Doctor's Notes on Testicular Cancer Self-Exam
A testicular self-examination (TSE) is used to help detect testicular cancer, the most common solid tumor found in males age 20-34 years. The best time to examine testicles is during or after a shower or bath because the warm water allows the scrotum to relax and the testicles to the dropdown. It is recommended that young men examine themselves once a month. A doctor can instruct you on the correct way to do a testicular self-examination. If you find a lump, contact a doctor for an evaluation.
Symptoms of testicular cancer include
- a small, painless lump in a testicle,
- a feeling of heaviness in the testicle,
- enlarging male breasts or breast tenderness,
- testicle enlargement,
- a new collection of fluid or blood in the scrotum around the testicle, or
- testicular pain.
What Is the Treatment for a Testicular Lump Found on Testicular Self-Examination?
If a testicular lump or mass is found on testicular self-examination, see your doctor. You will most likely be sent to a urologist for an evaluation. An ultrasound may be ordered to better indicate the type of lump. Most lumps are benign and do not need any specific treatment.
Treatment for a testicular lump depends on the type of lump.
- Hydroceles are fluid-filled cysts on the testicle
- Large hydroceles may need to be drained or surgically removed, but most times do not require treatment
- Epididymitis is an infection of the sperm storage area adjacent to the testicle and when enlarged feels like a lump
- Treatment for testicular cancer usually includes surgery to remove the tumor, often followed by chemotherapy
Must Read Articles:
Can a 12-Year-Old Get Testicular Cancer?A painless lump in the testes or scrotum is often the first sign of testicular cancer. Boys as young as 12 years old may develop testicular cancer, especially if they have certain conditions of the genitals that are proven risk factors.
Common Health TestsCommon health tests may be performed in your doctor's office or even in the pharmacy. Regular health checks and screening for certain diseases and conditions have become routine for most. Common health tests include a mammogram, cholesterol tests, and colonoscopy.
Testicular CancerTesticular cancer is a cancer of the male sex organs essential for producing testosterone, libido and other crucial functions. Cancer is usually in only one testicle, the tumor is malignant if it begins to subsume the healthy tissue. Malignant testicular tumors can metastasize to other organs. Testicular cancer is a rare cancer with a high cure rate.
Testicular Cancer in ChildrenTesticular cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles. The two types of testicular cancer are germ cell tumors that start in sperm cells in males. The most common testicular germ cell tumors in young boys are benign teratomas and malignant nonseminomas. Non-germ cell tumors begin in the tissues that surround and support the testicles. Any testicular tumors may be malignant or benign.
Testicular Cancer vs. Testicle InfectionTesticular cancer occurs when abnormal testicular cells grow unregulated and may spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. Testicle infection (also termed testicular infection and/or orchitis) generally means infection of the testicles by various bacteria and/or viruses. Although testicle infections do not metastasize, they may spread to structures attached to the testicles such as the epididymis (termed epididymo-orchitis).
Testicular Pain (Right, Left Side, and Back Pain)If you are a male, we don't need to describe what "testicular swelling, discomfort, or pain" feels like to you. And hopefully those around you can sympathetically understand the pain you're in. Medically speaking, testicular or scrotum pain is defined as a discomfort or pain in the testicles or scrotum. The pain can range from mild - to severe and serious as in testicular torsion - which is a surgical emergency.Causes of the pain range from common to less common; examples include trauma, epididymitis (testicle infection), kidney stones, testicular torsion (a surgical emergency), STDs (sexually transmitted diseases), enlarged prostate (BPH), inguinal hernia, orchitis (an inflammatory condition in one or both testicles caused by infections), cancer, kidney stones, abscesses, gangrene infections, vasculitis of the wall of the scrotum (henoch-schonlein purpura, HSP), testicular tumor with infection or hemorrhage, and varicocele. A doctor or other health-care professional can help diagnose the cause of your pain by performing a physical exam and ordering laboratory tests. Treatment of testicular or scrotal pain depends on the cause. In some cases, for example in kidney stones, the pain is resolved once the stones are removed. The prognosis depends upon the cause.
Testicular TorsionTesticular torsion is a painful condition caused by the twisting of the spermatic cord, which causes a loss of blood flow to the testicle. It is a surgical emergency that may result in the loss of the testicle. The main cause is an anatomical abnormality called the bell clapper deformity. Symptoms include testicular pain, sudden swelling, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, or fever. Treatment for testicular torsion is surgery.
Testicular Torsion vs. InfectionTesticular torsion is a painful condition of the testicle due to twisting the spermatic cord that causes loss of blood to the testicle. This a surgical emergency. Testicle infection (also termed testicular infection and/or orchitis) generally means infection of the testicles by various bacteria and/or viruses.
Tests for Testicular CancerDiagnosing testicular cancer requires a thorough history and physical examination along with diagnostic testing. A diagnostic test can confirm or eliminate disease presence, monitor the disease progress or evaluate if the disease has spread to other parts of the body.
What Is Usually the First Sign of Testicular Cancer?A painless lump or swelling in the testes is usually the first sign of testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that occurs when cells in the testicles become abnormal and grow out of control.
Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.