How to Detect Testicular Cancer
Just as women are conditioned and reminded throughout their adult lives to check their breasts for lumps, it’s important that men are vigilant to check their testicles for signs of lumps or growth that could point to testicular cancer. Changes to the shape and presence of lumps may indicate an issue, but it’s important not to panic without a doctor’s screening and extensive imaging, as not even a lump means cancer, and not every change in your testicles could mean something dangerous.
While scientists are not always clear on what exactly causes testicular cancer – or any cancer for that matter – there are certain risk factors to consider. Is there a family history of testicular cancer or other cancers? Are you a smoker or were you a smoker in the past? Other factors to include are people who have been infected by HIV or have an undescended testicle.
It is important to keep in mind that while risk factors can mean a higher chance of getting diagnosed with testicular cancer, it does not mean you will necessarily be diagnosed with the disease. Even people without any known risk factors can still be affected by testicular cancer. All adult-aged men should continue to diligently check their testicles on a regular basis – regardless of risk factors.
How do you properly screen your testicles for lumps or other signs of testicular cancer? After a warm shower or bathing, use both of your hands to carefully examine each testicle. In these screenings, you are looking specifically for any lumps or differences in one testicle from the other. You also will want to continue these screenings regularly so you can familiarize yourself with your testicles and be able to recognize any changes should they present themselves. On top of regular screenings, you should be getting a physical exam from your primary care physician at least once each year.
What to look out for
Should you start to notice changes in your testicles or symptoms that you believe may be troublesome, consult your doctor immediately. The following are symptoms of testicular cancer – but again, do not necessarily indicate that you have been officially diagnosed with the disease.
Look for lumps in either of your testicles, especially noting if either one is enlarged, particularly swollen, or has gathered fluid. You should also seek medical attention if you notice a pain in your abdomen, groin, or lower back that you can’t readily explain. It sounds silly, but you know your body better than anybody else, so you should really seek out the help of a urologist if you suspect an abnormality with your testicles.
If you suspect you may have testicular cancer or want explore your urology options with board-certified urologist Dr. Richard Natale, call Carolina Urology today. Book your appointment with our industry-leading experts today by calling (704) 786-5131.