Check your balls…if you feel like it

3rd December 2020

Testicular cancer only accounts for about 1% of cancers in men overall, but it is the most common cancer in men aged between 15 and 35 years. There is no role for screening for testicular cancer unless you have unusual signs or symptoms.


Unusual signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include testicular:


    • Mass (with or without pain)

    • Firmness

    • Heaviness


The most important sign is a testicular mass. There are other scrotal structures that may feel like a mass but are normal. If you feel any mass which is unusual or you have not felt before, then see your doctor.



The main risk factor for testicular cancer is cryptorchidism (undescended testes). Others at increased risk include those with a family history or previous history of testicular cancer, or those with hypospadias (where the urethra opens somewhere along the penis other than the tip).


It is important to note that having a vasectomy is NOT a risk factor for developing testicular cancer.



There are some experts who recommend a monthly self examination for those who have the risk factors mentioned above. However, current recommendations are that this is not routinely necessary. If you do find an unusual lump then don’t stress about it, but do see your GP to ensure piece of mind, or if necessary, get early treatment.



This article has been written by Dr Clark Wasiun at Southern Regional Medical Centre

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