One of the biggest health concerns affecting young Australian men is testicular cancer which, although rare overall, is the second most common cancer in Australian men aged 18-39. Luckily, in most cases the outcome is positive, with a 95% chance of survival, and a five year survival rate close to 98%. But even though these numbers are encouraging, the rate of men diagnosed with testicular cancer has grown by more than 50% over the past 30 years. That’s why you need to know how to spot the signs.
What is testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer starts as an abnormal growth or tumour that develops in one or both testicles. There are actually several types of testicular cancer, but the most common is seminoma, which usually occurs in men aged 25 – 50. The other main type is non-seminoma, which is more common in younger men, usually in their 30s.
Key signs and symptoms
There’s no routine screening for testicular cancer so it’s up to you to learn about the key signs and symptoms that may warrant a visit to the doctor. It’s also important to familiarise yourself with the normal look and feel of your testicles and to touch them semi-regularly to monitor any changes.
In some men, testicular cancer does not cause any noticeable symptoms, whilst others may notice one or more symptoms. Just like a variety of round fruits, these symptoms can take on differing shapes and sizes. Here are the key ones to take note of:
- A painless swelling or lump in the testicle - this could be as small as a grape or much larger.