Understanding Testicular Cancer: The Importance of Regular Self-Checks

Did you know that rates of testicular cancer have doubled in the last 50 years? Nobody knows why this is, which is why it’s so important to be aware of the signs of cancer.

Around 2,200 British men are diagnosed each year, making it the most common cancer in men aged 25-49. When you’re young it’s easy to feel like nothing bad can happen to your health. Checking for testicular cancer takes just a few minutes each month and could save your life, and your crown jewels!

Cancer Symptoms

The number one sign of testicular cancer is a swollen testicle or testicle lump. Changes to look out for in your scrotum include:

  • Aches and pains in your testicles or scrotum
  • A heavy feeling in your scrotum
  • Changes in the texture or firmness of one testicle
  • Any difference between your testicles

You can check for these signs yourself by doing a self-examination about once a month. This only takes a minute or so and can be done in the shower. Just gently roll each testicle between your thumb and fingers, checking for the changes above. They should be smooth, firm and comfortable to touch. It’s normal for one to be bigger than the other or for the left one to hang lower, so don’t worry! By checking regularly you’ll learn what is and isn’t normal for your body. You can find more info on self checks in our blog about them.

Lumps are the main testicular cancer symptom, as they are the first thing that happens. If the disease has reached a later stage without you noticing, then there are other symptoms of testicular cancer you might experience:

  • Coughing or spitting up blood
  • A cough that won’t go away
  • Shortness of breath
  • Swelling in your ‘breasts’
  • Swelling or lumpiness in your neck
  • Lower back pain

The later stages of cancer are called metastatic cancer; this is when it spreads from your testicles to other areas like your lymph nodes or lungs. By checking yourself every month you can avoid this; get to your GP’s office as soon as you notice any changes!

Testicular cancer treatment

Your doctor will perform an exam and if they think it could be cancer you’ll be sent for an ultrasound and blood tests. Unfortunately, the only way to be completely certain of a testicular cancer diagnosis is to remove the affected testicle. This sounds scary but it doesn’t affect your sex life or fertility and you can have an artificial testicle put in its place. If you have caught the cancer in its early stages, then testicle removal is often the only treatment needed. More advanced testicular cancer requires chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Remember it only takes a few minutes for you to check your balls and can have life saving results, so many deaths could of been prevented and that's the saddest part. Don't let yourself become part of these sad statistics. Plus when have you ever been given permission to have a little feel?

This year we are helping to do our bit for cancer prevention by supporting Movember. Our team members are doing some great stuff which you can read about in our last blog. Any donations that our team receives Kegel8 will match up to £1000. Visit our team page to see how we are doing at http://moteam.co/tashticles.

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