What men need to know about testicular cancer

Did you know that every twenty-four hours, one man dies of testicular cancer? According to the American Cancer Society, it is one of the leading cancers in men between the ages of 15 and 35. The average age of diagnosis is 33 years old. Cancer is often thought of as an older person’s disease. However, younger men need to be on the lookout for testicular cancer.

The good news – testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers. If caught in time, it is highly treatable, even after the cancer has spread outside the testicles. The best way men can minimize their risk for testicular cancer is to know the key information about the disease.

Key facts

  • Most common among ages 15-35
  • Ages 20-39 have highest risk
  • Average age of diagnosis – 33 years old
  • Highly treatable and usually curable
  • 95% survival rate

Signs and symptoms

  • Testicular pain or discomfort
  • Lump in testicle or swollen testicle
  • Feeling of heaviness in scrotum
  • Pain in back or lower abdomen
  • An abnormal change in the way your testicle feels


There may also be no symptoms at all.

Risk factors

  • Caucasian
  • Family history
  • Undescended testicle

While these are the most important risk factors, other risk factors include HIV infection, history of carcinoma in situ (non-invasive form of testicular germ cell cancer), cancer of the other testicle, and body size (taller men may be more prone).

Get checked or check yourself

All males, especially those with risk factors, should have a routine testicular exam by a doctor during their regular check-up. Your doctor should be feeling for any swelling or lumps. Men can also perform self-examinations at home. Here’s how:

  1. Check one testicle at a time.
  2. Standing in front of a mirror, hold the testicle between your thumbs and pointer and middle fingers of both hands.
  3. Gently roll each testicle between your fingers while feeling for lumps, swelling and hardness.

If you notice any smooth or hard lumps, bumps, or changes in size or shape, see your urologist immediately.


Source: American Cancer Society


David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor

View posts by David Samadi, MD - Medical Contributor
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital and professor of urology at Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel's Medical A-Team. Learn more at roboticoncology.com. Visit Dr. Samadi's blog at SamadiMD.com. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
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