Testicular cancer is the cancer in the testicles, male reproductive organ that makes hormones and sperm. Know more about testicular cancer here
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer:
Patients with testicular cancer can experience varied symptoms.The foremost sign of testicular cancer includes the enlargement of testicle, hence any lumps or hardness should be inspected by a doctor as soon as possible. Not all symptoms of testicular cancer show up until the cancer has spread beyond the testicles though. The most significant symptoms of testicular cancer are as follows:
Lumps on testicles:
Occurrence of painless lumps on one or both of the testicles is the most common symptom of testicular cancer. Initially, the lumps are pea-sized but they can grow over time.
Pain and discomfort in the testicles or the scrotum is another symptom of testicular cancer though swelling might or might not be observed in this condition. Testicular cancer could also cause a constant but slight pain in the groin or the lower abdomen. Low back ache occurs when the cancer has spread beyond the testicle to the abdomen.
The feeling of numbness of testicles could indicate testicular cancer.
Change in the size of testicle:
Testicular cancer may result in enlargement or shrinking of the testicle. This causes the feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, one testicle could feel heavier than the other too.
Fluid in scrotum:
Fluid starts to build up in the scrotum which shows that the body reacting to the cancer.
Growth or tenderness of breasts:
In a few cases, testicular tumours lead to gynecomastia, a condition where the tumours produce hormones that aid in the growth or tenderness of the breast tissue.
Clotting of blood:
Developing blood clots in large veins and artery, is one of the early signs of testicular cancer. Shortness of breath or swelling of one or both legs due to blood clots is a major symptom of testicular cancer.
Advanced testicular cancer symptoms:
The symptoms in the advanced stages of testicular cancer are mostly due to the metastasis of cancer than the orginal symptoms of testicular cancer and the most common ones are:
- Pain in the lower back
- Shortness of breath
- Bloody sputum or phlegm
- Chest pain
Symptoms identical to non cancerous conditions:
Unlike in other cancer types, the symptoms of this cancer are not easily explained by other conditions and so cannot be mistaken for those, however, it does not mean that the presence of the symptoms necessarily means testicular cancer. Following are some conditions that explain the common symptoms of testicular cancer.
Lumps or changes in size of testicles:
- Spermatocele is a cyst that develops in the epididymis, a small organ attached to the testicle. The epididymis is made up of a series of coiled tubes which help in the carriage of the sperm away from the testicle.
- Building up of hydrocele, a fluid in the membrane around the testicle.
- Varicocele, enlargement of blood vessels from testicles.
- Hydrocele, A fluid produced in the membrane around the testicle.
The following could be the root causes of pain in the testicular cancer:
- Infections: Infected testicles or epididymis can cause pain in the testicles.
- Injury: Any injury near the testicles can also cause severe pain in the region.
- Twisting: Twisting of the testicles leads to pain in the testicles.
Responsive action for the above symptoms:
On experiencing the above symptoms or any changes in the testicles, the person would need a proper diagnosis. On observing any lumps, hardness or tenderness, pain, or even abnormal enlargement of the testicles, especially when they last longer than two weeks, consulting a doctor is a must. Explaining the exact changes that you have experienced, and the timeline of the symptoms can help the doctor evaluate and diagnose. Read more about diagnosis of testicular cancer here. Once the cancer is diagnosed, mitigating the symptoms is the first and one of the most important steps of treatment. Read more about the treatment of testicular cancer here