MAYO CLINIC NEWS NETWORK – April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, which makes this a good time to learn about the symptoms and risk factors of testicular cancer. Compared with other types of cancer, testicular cancer is rare. But, in the U.S., it’s the most common cancer in men between the ages of 20 and 35.
Approximately 9,190 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed in the U.S. in 2023, and 470 people will die from the disease, according to the American Cancer Society.
Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles, which are inside the scrotum, underneath the penis. The testicles produce male sex hormones and sperm for reproduction. The cancer cells can grow quickly and often spread outside the testicle to other parts of the body.
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:
- A lump or enlargement in either testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
- Back pain
Factors that may increase your risk of testicular cancer include:
- Having an undescended testicle, or cryptorchidism
The testes form in the belly during fetal development. They typically descend into the scrotum before birth. If you have a testicle that never descended, your risk of testicular cancer is higher. The risk is increased even if you’ve had surgery to move the testicle to the scrotum.
- Having a family history of testicular cancer
If testicular cancer runs in your family, you can have an increased risk.
- Being a young adult
Testicular cancer can happen at any age, but it’s most common in teens and young adults between 15 and 45.
- Being white
Testicular cancer is most common in white people.
Testicular cancer is treatable, even when cancer has spread beyond the testicle. If you’ve been diagnosed with testicular cancer, your treatment will be based on several factors, including the type and stage of cancer, and your overall health and preferences. Treatment can include surgery, radiation therapy or chemotherapy.