Testicular cancer is the most common cause of cancer in men between 18-40 years of age but can happen at any age. Most tumors are discovered on self-exam by the patient feeling a lump in the testicle and cause no symptoms. Occasionally, testicular cancer may cause pain or swelling of the testicle. All men should perform monthly self-exams. Treatment includes partial or complete removal of the testicle, but occasionally chemotherapy/radiation/lymph node surgery may be needed as well.
Some men notice a painless swelling or enlargement of the testicle; others will have pain, tenderness or a dull ache.
It is important to contact a urologist when any lump or firm area within the testicle is noticed. The urologist will order an ultrasound of the testicles, in some cases, will perform a blood sample to check for the presence of proteins produced by most testicular cancers.
Tumors that are suspicious for malignancy (cancerous) are treated by surgical removal of the testicle through a small incision of the groin. Subsequent treatment is determined by cell type, which can be seminoma, nonseminoma or both. Removal of a testicle should not impair sexual potency or fertility, although there may be a brief decrease in sperm production.