By Dr Ananya Mandal, MD
The most common initial symptom of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling in the testicles. With early detection and diagnosis of this condition, treatment is usually successful at achieving a cure. Men are therefore advised to regularly check their testicles (on a monthly basis) and to seek immediate medical attention if they notice any abnormalities.
Some of the symptoms of testicular cancer are described below:
- Lump or swelling in the testicle – Men are advised to perform their monthly testicle examination after a hot bath or shower, when the scrotum is looser and small lumps can therefore be more easily detected by finger palpation.
- A dull or sharp pain in the scrotum or testicles
- A sensation of heaviness in the scrotum
- A sudden accumulation of fluid in the scrotum, referred to as a hydrocele
- General feeling of malaise
If the testicular cancer has spread or metastasized to other parts of the body, a man may experience other symptoms. This occurs in around 5% of men who develop testicular cancer. The most common sites of metastasis in testicular cancer are the lymph nodes in the lungs and abdomen. More rarely, the cancer spreads to the bones, liver or brain.
Some of the symptoms of mestastatic testicular cancer include the following:
- An ongoing cough
- Blood in the spit or phlegm
- Breast enlargement or gynecomastia
- Lower back pain
- Shortness of breath
- Lump or swelling in the neck
Reviewed by Sally Robertson, BSc
Last Updated: Sep 16, 2014