Symptoms & Signs

of Testicular Cancer

  • A painless lump or swelling in either testicle.
  • A change in how the testicle feels.
  • A dull ache in the groin or lower abdomen
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum.

Cause

Testicular cancer begins when healthy cells acquire a genetic change (mutation) that causes them to turn into abnormal cells.  Most Testicular cancers develop sporadically, which means for no known reason.

Risk factors

A risk factor is anything that increases a person’s chance of developing cancer.  Risk factors can influence the development of cancer but most do not directly cause cancer. Many individuals with risk factors will never develop cancer and others with no known risk factors will.  Some cancers however are more likely to develop in individuals with certain risk factors that increase an individual’s chance of developing cancer.  The following factors may raise a person’s risk for developing Testicular cancer.1,2,3,4

  • Having had an “undescended testicle”
  • Having had abnormal development of the testicles.
  • Having a previous history of testicular cancer.
  • Having a family history of testicular cancer (especially in a father or brother).
  • Being white.

Next: Diagnosis & Tests for Testicular Cancer

References


1 American Cancer Society: Cancer Facts and Figures 2017. Atlanta, Ga: American Cancer Society, 2017.

2 Ries LAG, Melbert D, Krapcho M, et al.: SEER Cancer Statistics Review, 1975-2005. Bethesda, Md: National Cancer Institute, 2007.

3 Holzik MF, Rapley EA, Hoekstra HJ, et al.: Genetic predisposition to testicular germ-cell tumours. Lancet Oncol 5 (6): 363-71, 2004.

4 Pettersson A, Richiardi L, Nordenskjold A, et al.: Age at surgery for undescended testis and risk of testicular cancer. N Engl J Med 356 (18): 1835-41, 2007.