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Getting Tested for Testicular Cancer

April 8, 2024 Pegalis Law Group

Getting Tested for Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is one of the rarest but most treatable forms of cancer among men aged 15 to 44. If detected and treated early, the disease has a high survival rate and is 95% curable. However, testicular cancer can be very aggressive, spreading rapidly with tumors that can double in size in less than a month. April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, a time to encourage self-exams and getting tested if you’re at a higher risk. Below, Pegalis Law Group, LLC examines why getting tested for testicular cancer is essential even if symptoms aren’t present, as early disease detection saves many lives.

Who’s Most at Risk for Testicular Cancer?

Has your brother or father ever been diagnosed with testicular cancer? Men who have a family history of the disease or have experienced abnormal testicle development (testes that don’t drop before birth) may be at a higher risk. Testicular cancer can occur at any age but is most common among young and middle-aged men between 15 and 44. White men and men with abnormal testicle cells called germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS) are also at a higher risk. It’s one of the leading types of cancer among men, but most don’t want to talk about it because it’s an uncomfortable subject.

What Are Common Testicular Cancer Symptoms?

As with any cancer, signs something may be amiss are sometimes difficult to notice. Some men don’t exhibit any symptoms until a tumor is discovered during testing for other conditions. Symptoms may vary but generally include any of the following:

  • Changes in testicle size, shape, or texture
  • Lumps, bumps, or other irregularities (not always painful)
  • Scrotum or testicle pain, swelling, or discomfort
  • Feeling of “heaviness” in the scrotum or testicles
  • Dull aches or pressure in the groin, lower abdomen, or back
  • Tenderness in male breast tissue
  • Significant unexplained weight loss
  • Enlarged lymph nodes in your neck or abdomen
  • Severe back, chest, or abdominal pain
  • Headaches, coughing, or difficulty breathing

How to Perform Monthly Testicular Self-Exams

The longer you ignore the symptoms, the more time testicular cancer has to spread. Therefore, it’s vital for men to perform monthly testicle self-exams. The best time for a self-exam is after a hot bath or shower when you’re the most relaxed. Cup one testicle at a time, and gently but firmly roll your fingers along each, looking for lumps, size changes, and other irregularities. Feel the entire surface. Familiarize yourself with how the cords above and behind the testicles feel to note any changes among them. If one of your testicles is slightly larger than the other, don’t be alarmed. This is normal for many men.

How Is Testicular Cancer Diagnosed and Treated?

If you exhibit testicular cancer symptoms, your doctor may conduct a physical exam, ultrasound, or blood test. Testicular cancer isn’t usually diagnosed with a biopsy (tissue sample). It’s often diagnosed once the tumor has been surgically removed. If your doctor suspects you have testicular cancer, you’ll likely be referred to a urologist or oncologist for treatment, which may include surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Prior to treatment, be sure to discuss sperm banking if you plan to have children. Nearly a quarter of testicular cancer patients receive an incorrect diagnosis, which may delay treatment, causing further injury. If this occurs, consult an experienced medical malpractice lawyer.

Encouraging You to Be Proactive About Your Health

A New York-based personal injury and medical malpractice law firm committed to spreading awareness and creating proactive patients, Pegalis Law Group, LLC has 50+ years of experience. Additional health insights can be gained by visiting our website and following us on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.