Testicular cancer refers to the cancer of the testicles, which are located inside the scrotum underneath the penis. Although not very common, the incidence of testicular cancer is increasing in the US across several decades. It has been estimated that 1 in every 250 males can be affected with this type of cancer, which has been suggested to be successfully treatable, thus, having a very low risk of mortality.
Yet, prevention is better than cure. So, with the help of this article, you will get to know about the preventive measures that you can take to reduce the risk of this type of cancer. Also, you will get to know the earliest signs and symptoms so that you can seek an early treatment before further progress of this condition. Without further ado, let’s get started with the signs.
10 signs of testicular cancer
Testicular cancer is the most common among men in the reproductive age having a peak of occurrence at the age of 33 years of age. Here are its most common signs:
Lump in the testicle
The first sign of testicular cancer is usually a lump or swelling in the testicles, which can be visibly detected. It can be seen in the area of one of the testicles. How you can detect this lump is by closely examining your testicles in bright light. The best time to do this is after a shower when your scrotum is relatively relaxed.
No, a mere glance at your man parts won’t help you detect this early and the most crucial sign. It is important that you take in hand each of the testicles and examine them separately while holding away your penis. Probably it is time you give your testicles the attention that they deserve (pun intended).
Anyway, so, while you examine, you are required to rub the skin in this area and feel if there are any lumps or if there is a change in consistency. If not, you are most likely safe as these are usually the first signs.
Changes in the size of the testicles
Well, quite obviously there will be a change in the size and appearance of the testicles, which you can only notice if you give attention to your man parts. The one with the lump will appear a bit larger and not just this it may even seem hanging lower than the other one.
So, if you notice any changes in the appearance of your testicles, it’s not necessary that it is due to your surging hormones or just an effect of gravity. You must take this one seriously.
Pain in the testicles
Not all men, but some, may experience a pain in their testicles, which can be easily overlooked in the light of sexual desires or a mild infection. This pain may be accompanied by a feeling of heaviness, and you must not ignore it.
Pain in the lower abdomen
Your testicular pain may refer to the area of the lower abdomen or your scrotum begging you to notice it and take it seriously.
A feeling of heaviness
You may have a feeling of heaviness, like, you are dragging around some extra load or you are making too much of an effort while doing usual tasks. This feeling can be due to the swelling present in your testicles or due to the abdominal pain you experience.
Pain in the lower back
Yes, your testicular pain can also sometimes get referred to your lower back, which usually does not occur until at a very later stage. Probably, a self-examination of testicles will help to determine testicular cancer well before than you experience any kind of severe pain.
An early puberty
Puberty is the age at which your sexual characteristics develop. It marks the age at which your voice begins to deepen and your facial and even body hair develop and you develop all the characteristics that make you look and feel like a man. This happens at about the age of 12 to 16 years (in men). In case of testicular cancer, this age is often less. So, if you know of a little boy who is rocking a beard at the age of 10 and has a voice deeper than yours, probably he is at a risk of testicular cancer or already has it. Maybe you can warn this young lad to visit a doctor. Thinking why this occurs?
Well, tumours of the sort that develop in your testicles cause an increased secretion of androgens. This has not any symptoms once you are an adult, but in young boys, it can lead to early signs of puberty, or as we may call it, a precocious puberty.
Appearance of breasts
One of the most difficult to deal with symptoms of testicular cancer is the appearance of breast tissue in men. Yeah, sadly, you read that right. The hormone, human chorionic gonadotropin or HCG, is to be blamed here, which is responsible for the appearance of this tissue. This may not be quite very prominent to be passed as breasts or be considered a case of gynecomastia, but, yeah, you may notice this symptom when you have a look at the area of your chest.
Soreness of breast tissue
What’s worse is that breasts don’t just appear miraculously but they also feel sore. Quite sure you may have already seen a doctor by now. If not, it is quite the time.
Loss of sexual desire
With all this going around with your body and in your male reproductive system, it is needless to say that your sexual desire will be affected in some sort. Maybe you experience a lack of sexual desires and no aphrodisiacs can come to your rescue. Maybe you just don’t feel like having intercourse or maybe the intercourse is not as good. You need not blame yourself for this one. Different men will experience this differently and not all men may experience this sign. So, it is important that you do not explicitly wait until this symptom shows and see your doctor as soon as you suspect something is even a bit wrong.
Prevention of testicular cancer
Looking how to prevent testicular cancer? Um, it’s not precisely possible to avert testicular cancer because the risk factors are not exactly under your control. You can still do your bit to prevent this type of cancer in the following ways:
Reduce your exposure to chemical toxins
Chemical toxins, which are commonly present in the outdoor environment, are a considerable risk factor for testicular cancer like most other types of cancer. These are commonly released from pesticides and fertilisers. So, if you are exposed to these types of chemicals at your workplace, it is important that you wear protective clothing to reduce your risk of developing testicular cancer.
Stay away from indoor pollution
Not just the outdoor environment, even the indoor environment is polluted with the toxins that increase your risk of testicular cancer. These may be released from plastic substances of daily use or from decorative rugs and carpet. So, in order to reduce your risk of testicular cancer, it is important that you minimise indoor pollution by making the use of indoor air cleaners and sufficiently exposing your room to sunshine from time to time.
Never have unprotected sex! Never!
One of the major risk factors of testicular cancer is an infection with the HIV virus, which causes the manifestation of AIDS. Not only is AIDS a deadly disease, if only that wasn’t enough, but also it increases your risk of developing testicular cancer. The right steps to prevent an HIV infection, which you may already know, include the practice of safe sex with the help of barrier devices like condoms and the knowledge of the sexual history of your partner(s). To the best, it is advisable to prevent having multiple sexual partners and getting yourself and your partner tested before having unprotected sex. These precautions go a long way in protecting you from the wrath of testicular cancer. So, a bit of adjournment in your excitement may be worth the effort.
Take care of your man parts
Repeated injuries or trauma to the area of your scrotum may increase your risk of developing testicular cancer, although it is not a common risk factor. Anyhow, protecting your scrotum can definitely reduce your risk. If you are into any kind of sports or contact sports, it is imperative that you never miss on your protective gear. If you are into physical activities and sports, like, bicycling or horseback riding, probably reducing the intensity of these exercises can help reduce the risk of testicular cancer. You are not always advisable to prevent these physical activities but in the presence of other definitive risk factors like a white race and a positive family history, it is recommended to reduce the intensity of these activities.
Dr. Garvita Arora is a qualified dental surgeon and an avid writer. With 500+ articles and medical blogs, she has written on a variety of topics, which have been of immaculate interest to her readers. Exploring new domains, she has now collaborated with CancerBro as a guest writer and is immensely dedicated to her work.