April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month. Learn about this rare type of cancer and what you can do to raise cancer awareness.
What Is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer develops in one of both of the testicles found only in men. Testicles are the male reproductive organs responsible for producing sperm, testosterone, and other male hormones. Although testicular cancer is rare, it mostly affects young men between the ages of 20-34.
Testicular cancer risk
The risk of developing cancer varies from person to person and depends on many different factors. Here are a few factors that could affect a man’s testicular cancer risk:
Age: Testicular cancer mostly occurs in men who are between 20 to 34 years old. But, it can still develop in men of any age.
Cryptorchidism: This condition occurs when a man has an undescended testicle. Before birth, cryptorchidism can be caused if one or both of the testes have not dropped into the scrotum. Doctors can reduce a man’s testicular cancer risk if they perform surgery to correct cryptorchidism in an infant or child before puberty.
Family history: A man’s cancer risk is increased if one of his close family members, like a brother or father, was diagnosed with testicular cancer.
Previous cancer diagnosis: In 2-5% of men who have had cancer in one testicle previously are likely to develop cancer in the other one.
Race: White men are more likely to develop testicular cancer than men of other races.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV): HIV-positive men are at a higher risk of developing this type of cancer than men who are HIV-negative.
Early warning signs of testicular cancer
Testicular cancer, like many other types of cancer, is best treated when it is detected early. Look for warning signs and learn what is normal for your body. Communicate with a doctor immediately if you notice an enlarged testicle, a small lump or hardness found in one or both of the testes, or pain or tenderness in the scrotum.
Here are other symptoms of testicular cancer:
- Swelling on the testicle; a tumor could be the size of pea or marble, and can sometimes be bigger
- Discomfort in the testicle(s) or scrotum
- Changes in how the testicles feel, like if one becomes heavier or more firm than the other
- Aches or pain in the abdomen or groin
- Buildup of fluid in scrotum
Participate in Testicular Cancer Awareness Month
Whether you have been diagnosed with testicular cancer or whether it’s affected a friend or loved one, it’s great to get involved by helping raise cancer awareness for the disease. Here are some things you can do to get involved this April for Testicular Cancer Awareness Month.
- Get your friends, family, or organization together to raise money for cancer research.
- Perform a testicular cancer self-exam on yourself, or encourage the men in your life to stay on top of their self-exams.
- Speak with your doctor about understanding your cancer risk, and get a cancer screening.
- Learn more about testicular cancer, and share what you know with friends and family.
At Comprehensive Cancer Centers of Nevada, our specialists offer services in medical oncology, hematology, radiation oncology, breast surgery, and pulmonology. If you have more questions about other types of cancer or how you can get started with cancer prevention, visit our website. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with testicular cancer, call 702-952-3350 to schedule an appointment today.