Testicular cancer is one of four types of cancer that are restricted to males. And approximately 9,000 new cases are discovered every year. This means that overall, it is not an incredibly common type of cancer, but because of where it’s located, it can understandably cause some worry and concern among men.
If you want to learn more about testicular cancer, then you’re making a good decision because with knowledge comes understanding. And in terms of cancer, understanding it plays a big role in how you deal with it. So, let’s get started. Here are the five most important things you need to know about testicular cancer, what it looks like, and how to find it in your body.
#1 – My Lumps: Why They Don’t Always Mean Cancer
Not all testicular lumps are indicative of cancer.If you feel a lump in one of your testicles while you’re showering, you’re first instinct is highly likely to be – oh no, cancer! But not all testicular lumps are indicative of cancer. In fact, there are a variety of conditions that can cause a lump to form in a testicle, like hydrocele, spermatocele, varicocele, and hernia. In some cases, the epididymis can even be confused for a lump. The epididymis is the tube that joins the testicle to the vas deferens. It is located along the back of the testicle and it can sometimes be sensitive to the touch. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t take a lump seriously, should you discover one.
In most cases (but not all), a lump related to testicular cancer is painless. The lump is also usually firm, and in some cases, the testicle itself will feel firm or “heavy.” Some men may complain of a dull ache in their lower abdomen or groin area, but again, symptoms can vary.
#2 – White Men Can’t Jump (But They Are in the Most Danger When It Comes to Testicular Cancer)
Approximately one in 280 men in the United States will develop testicular cancer in their lifetime.When you think of cancer, you probably think of it affecting someone older in age. But testicular cancer can actually affect any man at any age and at any time, and it can even develop in babies. But it is most prominent in young, white males between the ages of 15 and 35. In fact, it is the most common type of malignancy in young men, with more than half of all of the cases of this type of cancer being diagnosed within that specific population.
White males are four to five times more likely to suffer from testicular cancer than black males, and three times more likely than men of Asian descent. Approximately one in 280 men in the United States will develop testicular cancer in their lifetime.
#3 – Testicular Cancer Is Easy to DiagnoseIf you think you feel a lump in your testicle, then you should see your doctor immediately, because this type of cancer is particularly easy to diagnose and early detection is the key to surviving it.
Your doctor will examine your testicles, and if necessary, order a testicle ultrasound. The ultrasound is a quick and painless procedure that will rule out or confirm the existence of a mass. If the ultrasound result is positive, then your doctor will order blood tests to check for tumor markers, typically certain types of proteins produced by cancer tumors. If the blood tests suggest cancer, then a biopsy will be performed to confirm the diagnosis.