Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
There are several common symptoms of testicular cancer:
- Lump or swelling in either testicle
- Pain or discomfort in the testicles or scrotum
- Dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin
- Sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum
- Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- Hardness of the testicle
- Breast tenderness or growth (in rare cases)
Keep in mind that these symptoms can also indicate conditions other than testicular cancer. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, especially a lump in either testicle, contact your doctor as soon as possible so the cause can be diagnosed and treated promptly.
Diagnostic Tests for Testicular Cancer
If your doctor suspects testicular cancer, one or more of the following tests may be recommended:
- Ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images of your testicle(s) to help find any tumors or abnormalities and determine if a lump is solid or fluid-filled. Solid lumps are more likely to be cancerous.
- Blood tests can identify certain substances known as tumor markers that may be secreted into your body by testicular cancer cells. A laboratory will examine a sample of your blood to measure for abnormally high levels of these substances.
- With testicular cancer, a standard surgical biopsy is not typically used because it can cause cancer cells to spread into the scrotum and lymph nodes. If a solid tumor is present or suspected, your surgeon may remove the entire testicle through an incision in the groin, a procedure called a radical inguinal orchiectomy. A pathologist then examines the tissue under a microscope to check for cancer cells.
- Imaging tests for testicular cancer may include computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and positron emission tomography (PET) scan.
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