This section is for teenagers and young adults. It is about two types of testicular cancer: teratoma, which is the most common type in teenagers, and seminoma.
If you have a different type of testicular cancer and want to know more, you could talk to us.
Teratomas usually affect young men of 15 to 35 years old. Seminomas usually affect men of 25 to 55 years old.
It's important to remember that treatment for testicular cancer can be really successful.
We have more information about the testicles, other organs near them and other types of testicular cancer.
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer
These are the main symptoms:
- A painless lump or a swelling in a testicle. Occasionally the swelling suddenly increases and becomes painful.
- Pain or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum (the sac that holds the testicles).
- A change in the shape or feeling of the testicle.
There might also be other symptoms if the cancer has spread:
- Pain in your back, groin or lower tummy.
- Shortness of breath.
- Tender or swollen nipples. This is not common but can be caused by hormones produced by the cancer.
Most lumps and swellings, especially in the epididymis (the tube at the top behind the testicle), are not cancer. But it’s important to get any lump or swelling or any of the other symptoms here checked by your GP straight away.
We have more information about checking your testicles. This info is written for anyone who's looking for information about testicular cancer, not just for young adults.
So I spoke to my Mother and she obviously said that she wasn't particularly an expert in that field of body matters so she, I spoke to my Father and he said that it wasn't right.
You may find it difficult to tell your partner, parent(s) or guardian(s) about a problem to do with your testicles. Try to talk to them if you can - they’ll want to help and support you as much as they can.
If you really feel you can’t talk to them, you can see a doctor on your own. You don’t have to say what is wrong when you make an appointment - if anyone asks, tell them it’s private.
Doctors are used to dealing with problems to do with private parts of the body, so try not to feel embarrassed. If you do not want to see your doctor, you can get checked out at your local sexual health clinic where you don’t have to give your name. You can find the number online or in your local phone book. The important thing is to get any symptoms checked out by a doctor straight away.
Remember – testicular cancer can nearly always be cured and it’s easier to treat when it’s found early.
We don't know what causes testicular cancer, but research is looking into it. Testicular cancer is rare, but numbers are rising and we don't know why.
We do know that there are some things that can increase the chances of getting testicular cancer:
- having one or both testicles that didn't come down into the scrotum as a baby and needing an operation to correct this.
- having a dad or brother who’s had testicular cancer.
Having an injury or sporting strains to the testicles doesn’t cause testicular cancer. But if you get an injury and have any swelling or a lump, get it checked by your doctor.
Remember – nothing you’ve done has caused the cancer.
If you're worried about testicular cancer
If you think you might have any of the symptoms of testicular cancer, you should go straight to your GP. They'll be able to talk to you about your symptoms, and if they think they could be because of cancer they can do tests to find out more.
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