April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month

Spotlight on Health
April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month Photo

Though it can occur at all ages, testicular cancer is commonly found in men ages 15 to 44. Starting in the testicles or testes, it is rare and very treatable, especially with early diagnosis, and the risk of death from this cancer is small.

Though rare, at-home screenings and routine doctor visits are encouraged to ensure symptoms and signs are spotted early on. The longer testicular cancer goes ignored, the higher the chance of it spreading. Those who have a family member with a testicular cancer history or men with a history of testes that didn’t drop before birth may be at a higher risk for developing testicular cancer, making monthly at-home checks necessary.

Localized Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Early signs of testicular cancer are often localized and can include a painless lump, swelling of the area, pain, and aches in the scrotum, testicle, or groin. Often men will avoid mentioning any lumps they find, making it harder for doctors to assess the situation. Any lump or bulge that is consistent for more than a few weeks should be mentioned to your doctor to be thoroughly evaluated. If ignored, cancer could spread.

Symptoms Throughout The Body

Some may notice symptoms beyond the groin and testicular area due to the increased hormone growth that cancer may cause. Some men report breast growth or soreness, while young boys might see signs of puberty early on.

Advanced Staged Symptoms

Once cancer has spread, symptoms have spread too. When in the late stages of testicular cancer, the symptoms will often reflect the area it has spread. Some may notice pain in the back or belly, lack of energy or fever, shortness of breath, headache, or confusion.

No matter your age, it’s essential for men everywhere to perform early testicular cancer checks and to notify their doctor if any weird or sudden changes occur. The sooner you do, the better the treatment options may be.