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Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is often put in the back of all our minds. And although it is rare, 2000 men on average are diagnosed every year in the UK. Ages range from 15 to 45. This article points out the symptoms we all should be looking out for, and how to check your balls too!

Symptoms can be one or more of the following:

  • a hard lump on the side of a testicle,
  • swelling or sudden enlargement,
  • an increase in firmness,
  • pain or discomfort in testicle and/or scrotum,
  • an unusual difference between one testicle to the other,
  • heavy feeling in the scrotum,
  • dull ache in lower stomach, groin or scrotum.

You may be more at risk if there is a family history of testicular cancer. White men are particularly more likely to develop the cancer than those black or Asian, having an undescended testicle or previously having testicular cancer.

Examining yourself

The best time to examine yourself is after a bath or shower. Take extra effort the first few times to get used to your balls so you know what is normal for you.

First hold your penis out of the way with one hand. With the palm of your free hand feel the weight and size of each testicle. It is common for one testicle to be larger than the other.

Next feel the sides of each testicle with finger and thumb. You'll feel a sensitive soft tube at the back - this is normal.

If you have ANY of the symptoms mentioned, get checked out by your GP. If discovered early, it's almost completely treatable and nine out of ten men are cured.

For more information go to Cancer Research UK.

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