Testicular Cancer – When To Call a Doctor

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a noticeable change in the size or shape of one or both testicles.

Call your doctor as soon as possible if you have any symptoms of testicular cancer, including:

* A swelling or lump in one or both of the testes. Pain in the testicles or scrotum may or may not be present.
* A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
* A dull feeling of pain in the abdomen, groin, or lower back.

Watchful Waiting

After surgery to remove a cancerous testicle, men whose tests show that their testicular cancer is early-stage and likely hasn’t spread beyond the testes may choose watchful waiting (or surveillance) rather than chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Watchful waiting involves close observation through frequent exams and tests to monitor your recovery.

It may seem odd to think about having cancer and not receiving immediate and aggressive treatment to remove or destroy it. By waiting, you may be able to avoid the potential side effects of more aggressive therapy without an increased risk to your long-term survival. During watchful waiting, you will have regular imaging exams and blood tests to watch your condition. If there is no change in your condition, you may continue watchful waiting. If your cancer returns, your doctor will recommend treatment with medicines (chemotherapy), radiation therapy, or surgery.

It is important to know that each treatment option, including watchful waiting, has its own risks. In choosing your course of treatment, your doctor should fully explain the potential risks and various outcomes so that you can be an informed, active participant at every stage of your treatment.

If you are concerned about your symptoms, talk to your doctor right away. Watchful waiting is not appropriate unless it is prescribed by a doctor.
Who To See

Health professionals who can evaluate your symptoms and your risk for testicular cancer include:

* General practitioners.
* Family medicine doctors.
* Nurse practitioners.
* Physician assistants.
* Internists.
* Urologists.

Health professionals who can manage your cancer treatment include:

* Urologists.
* Medical oncologists.
* Radiation oncologists.

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