By Azuka Onye (MPA, MS)
According to the National Cancer Institute, Testicular Cancer is the most common type of cancer in young men between the ages of 20 and 39. Men of African descent are more likely to die from the disease.
A testicular tumor may be present as a painless nodule or growth. It is important that young men examine their testis for nodules/lumps. If one is identified, a trip to the doctor’s office for a full workup is warranted because it could be a malignancy.
There are two types of tumors, benign and malignant. Benign tumors are harmless while malignant tumors are of grave concern because they signify a change in the cell’s normal morphology. Malignant tumors can spread and cause harm to other organs in the body like the liver, lungs and brain.
Early detection of testicular cancer correlates with an excellent prognosis. Below are instructions for a Testicular Self-Examination (TSE):
- Examine your scrotum for any swelling of the skin.
- Feel each testicle with both hands.
- Place your index and middle finger under testicle and place your thumb on the top.
- Gently roll each testicle and feel for any hard nodules or lumps.
- Remember that it is normal to have a testicle that is slightly larger than the other.
According to the Testicular Cancer Resource Center below are some of the Signs and Symptoms of testicular cancer:
- Testicular nodules/lumps can be PAINLESS
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin
- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
***As always you should consult your physician if you suspect or find any abnormality.