Men's Health

Support for Men Concerned About Testicular Cancer

If you have concerns about testicular cancer, we're here to provide support and guidance. Contact us to discuss your situation and explore available services. 

Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the testicles, which are part of the male reproductive system. Although it is a rare disease, it is the most common cancer among young men aged between 15 and 34 years. Each year, approximately 170 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer inIreland, and this number has been increasing in recent years. Therefore, regular self-examination of the testicles is crucial. Fortunately, testicular cancer is highly treatable, with a cure rate of over 95%.

Risks and Causes of Testicular Cancer

  • Being born with undescended or partially descended testicles.
  • Having a close family member, such as a father or brother, who has had the disease.

Signs and Symptoms

Early detection of cancer greatly improves treatment outcomes. It's important to be familiar with how your body normally looks and feels, including your testicles, so you can identify any changes. The most common sign of testicular cancer is a swelling or lump in one of the testicles that is typically painless. Other signs to watch for include:

  • Small lumps or areas of hardness on the front or side of a testis.
  • Swelling or enlargement of the testis.
  • Increased firmness of the testicle.
  • A feeling of heaviness or dragging in the scrotum.
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin.

Most lumps are benign (non-cancerous), but some may be cancerous and should be evaluated promptly. It is rare for cancer to develop in both testicles simultaneously, so comparing one testicle with the other can help determine if something is abnormal.

How to Perform a Self-Examination

The best time to check your testicles is during or after a bath or shower, when the scrotum is relaxed, making the testicles easier to feel.

  • Gently hold your scrotum in both hands.
  • Use your fingers and thumb to examine each testicle.
  • It is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other. Carefully feel each testicle one at a time.
  • You should feel a soft tube at the top and back of each testicle. This tube, known as the epididymis, carries sperm and may be slightly tender. Do not mistake it for an abnormal lump.

If you notice any of the symptoms listed above or have any concerns, seek medical attention. You may be referred for an ultrasound or to a consultant urologist for further evaluation. An ultrasound is a painless test that uses sound waves to determine if a lump is solid or a fluid-filled cyst, the latter being less likely to be cancerous.

Do not be embarrassed or hesitant. Early detection of testicular cancer significantly increases the chances of a successful cure. Modern treatments for testicular cancer are highly effective, even in cases where the cancer has spread beyond the testicle to other parts of the body.

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