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Testicular Cancer by Dr Rob Hicks

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer affecting young men in the UK.

What are the symptoms?

The first sign is usually a swelling of one of the testicles or a hard pea-size lump on the front or side of the testicle. Sometimes there may be a dull ache or a sharp pain felt around the testicle or in the scrotum.


Self-examination is best done in or after a bath or shower when the scrotum is relaxed. Holding your scrotum in the palms of your hands, use your fingers and thumbs to examine the shape, consistency and smoothness of the testicles.

It's not unusual for one testicle to be slightly smaller than the other or for one to hang lower. But if something doesn't feel right, get it checked by the doctor - don't ignore it.

How common is it?

Testicular cancer affects one in 450 men before the age of 50 and is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 45. In the UK, the number of cases has doubled in the past 20 years and around 2,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.

What causes it?

Its cause isn't known, but men who've had undescended testicles and those with a close male relative who's had testicular cancer are more at risk.

There are no guaranteed ways of preventing testicular cancer. However, if undescended testicles are corrected before a boy is ten years old, his risk of developing testicular cancer drops back to the average level. Regular exercise may also reduce the risk.

What's the treatment?

Testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers, with around 90 per cent of men making a full recovery. The affected testicle is removed surgically. If the cancer hasn't spread, further treatment may not be necessary. If it has, chemotherapy is usually given. Radiotherapy is sometimes used in the early stages.

Having a testicle removed shouldn't affect a man's sex life or his chance of becoming a dad.


From http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/conditions/testicularcancer1.shtml

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