Testicular Cancer – Symptoms

Common symptoms of testicular cancer include:

* A swelling and/or lump in one or both of the testes. Pain in the testes or scrotum may or may not be present.
* A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
* A dull feeling of pain in the region of the lower abdominal area, groin, or lower back.

Call your doctor if you have any of the above symptoms. It is also important to know that these symptoms may occur as a result of conditions unrelated to testicular cancer. Conditions that have symptoms similar to testicular cancer include:5

* Hydrocele. A hydrocele is a painless buildup of fluid around one or both testicles that causes the scrotum or groin area to swell. Even though the swelling may be unsightly or uncomfortable, it is not painful. An acquired hydrocele can occur at any age but is most common in men older than 40.
* Varicocele. A varicocele is an enlarged, twisted vein (varicose vein) in the scrotum, most often on the left side. It feels like a “bag of worms” and may occasionally cause discomfort.
* Spermatocele. A spermatocele (epididymal cyst) is a sperm-filled cyst in the long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle and collects sperm (epididymis). It feels like a smooth, firm lump in the scrotum.
* Orchitis. This is an inflammation or infection of the testicle that may be caused by a virus or bacteria. Orchitis occurs most often in men who have mumps.
* Epididymitis. This is an inflammation and infection of the long, tightly coiled tube that lies behind each testicle and collects sperm (epididymis). Epididymitis is usually caused by a bacterial infection but may also occur following a urologic procedure. Sexually transmitted diseases cause most cases of epididymitis in men younger than 35.

Symptoms of advanced testicular cancer

Testicular cancer that has spread (metastasized) beyond the testicles and regional lymph nodes to other organs may cause other symptoms depending on the area of the body affected. Symptoms of late-stage testicular cancer may include:

* Dull pain in the lower back and abdomen.
* Lack of energy, sweating for no apparent reason, fever, or a general feeling of illness (malaise).
* Shortness of breath, coughing, or chest pain.
* Headache, confusion, or dementia.

Testicular cancer is considered one of the most curable forms of cancer. An early diagnosis followed by an appropriate treatment program can greatly increase your chance for a positive outcome.3

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