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Testicular Cancer? When You Should See a Doctor

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Dr. Shakrui-Rad, Urologist and Director of Robotic Surgery, shares the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer.

By the time a man hits age 50, his chances of developing testicular cancer drops to less than 1 percent.

That doesn’t mean men shouldn’t pay attention to signs and symptoms of a potential, growing  health issue, says Urologist Jaschar Shakuri-Rad.

“While testicular cancer is rare, early detection is important in boosting your chances of survival,” says Dr. Shakuri-Rad. “Regular, monthly self exams should be a part of your routine, and don’t hesitate to see a doctor if you notice any developing changes.”

Most cases of testicular cancer occur in young and middle-aged men, with the average age at time of diagnosis being 33, adds Dr. Shakuri-Rad. But children and older adults are not immune and should still be aware of possible signs, especially if there’s a history of testicular cancer within the family.

Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Most often, a painless lump or swelling is the first sign of a growing cancer, says Dr. Shakuri-Rad. But men with testicular cancer can experience other signs and symptoms, including:

  • Lump (can be painful or nonpainful)
  • Swelling in one or both testicles
  • Aching or “heavy” feeling in lower abdomen or scrotum
  • Breast growth or soreness
  • Lower back pain
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain or cough
  • Headaches
  • Early puberty (in pediatric cases)

When You Should See a Doctor

Some testicular cancers are caught during routine checkups or during procedures for other medical issues, such as infertility. But you shouldn’t wait for those instances to see a doctor, according to Dr. Shakuri-Rad.

All men, as early as 15-years-old, should perform regular self exams and see a doctor at the first sign of changes.

“Testicular cancer is one of the more curable cancers, if caught early,” said Dr. Shakuri-Rad. “In most cases, lumps or swelling are a result of an infection or trauma to the area—but you should always have a doctor rule out something more serious as soon as you notice symptoms.”

For information on how to do a testicular self exam, visit this guide from the American Cancer Society.

Schedule an appointment with Dr. Shakuri-Rad.