What is testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer is when abnormal cells in a testicle start to divide and grow in an uncontrolled way.
The most common type of testicular cancer is germ cell testicular cancer which accounts for 95% of cases. There are two main types; seminomas and non-seminomas.
What are the symptoms?
Symptoms of testicular cancer can include:
- a lump or swelling in a part of one testicle
- a testicle that gets bigger
- a heavy scrotum
- an increase in the firmness of a testicle
- discomfort or pain in your testicle or scrotum
See a GP if you notice a swelling, lump or any other change in one of your testicles.
Lumps within the scrotum can have many different causes, and testicular cancer is rare.
Who does it affect?
- Testicular cancer is the 17th most common cancer in males in the UK and mostly affects men between 15 and 49 years of age.
- Around 2,400 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year in the UK.
- Testicular cancer is a relatively rare type of cancer, accounting for just 1% of all cancers that occur in men.
- Trans women can also develop testicular cancer if they haven't had an operation to remove their testicles (orchidectomy).
- Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer, and the survival rate is very high.
1. Myth: “Vasectomies can cause testicular cancer”
False - Having a vasectomy does not increase the risk of getting testicular cancer.
2. Myth: “Getting an injury to a testicle increases your risk of cancer”
False - There is no evidence to suggest that injury to a testicle increases your risk of getting cancer. But an injury to a testicle or to the groin may bring it as a concern to your doctor’s attention.
3. Myth: “Testicular cancer only affects older people”
False - Though older people can get testicular cancer, most diagnoses are of men aged between 15 and 49 years old.
4. Myth: “Testicular cancer is not treatable”
False - Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable types of cancer, and the outlook is one of the best for cancers. Almost all men who are treated for testicular germ cell tumours are cured, and it's rare for the cancer to return more than 5 years later.
5. Myth: “Testicular cancer is really common”
False - Testicular cancer is a relatively rare type of cancer, accounting for just 1% of all cancers that occur in men. Around 2,300 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year in the UK.
Recommended resources and further reading:
- Testicular Cancer stories and information: Nuts & Bolts –Movember
- How to check your testicles: Movember Check Your Pair
- Testicular Cancer information: Cancer Research UK
- Raising awareness of Testicular Cancer: The OddBallsFoundation
- Testicular Cancer statistics: Cancer Research UK statistics
- Fighting Male Cancer: Orchid Cancer