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How to Tell If You Have Testicular Cancer

Treatable cancer is most common in young men

A young man talks to his doctor to be screened for testicular cancer.

Treatable cancer is most common in young men

When in doubt, get it checked out — that’s the message for men with any testicular concerns. 


“What’s important to understand is that testicular cancer is a very treatable condition in most cases,” says Ramdev Konijeti, MD, a urologic oncologist at Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center and Scripps Clinic.


Testicular cancer is most common in men ages 15 to 44. As with many cancers, the key to successful treatment is early detection. 


“It has a bimodal age distribution. You get a peak of young men in their late teens and early 20s and then another in their 30s and 40s,” Dr. Konijeti continues. “If they make it past that, they likely won’t get it. The majority of cases occurs in those two age groups.” 

What should men in this age range look out for?

A purple ribbon recognizing testicular cancer, which is most common among men ages 15-24.

What should men in this age range look out for?

While the most common testicular cancer symptom is painless swelling or a lump, other symptoms include: 

  • Change in consistency of the testicles 
  • Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum 
  • Dull ache in the lower abdomen or the groin 
  • Sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum 
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum 
  • Breast growth or loss of sexual desire 
  • Growth of facial and body hair at an abnormally young age 
  • Lower back pain if cancer spreads 
  • Sudden severe shortness of breath or a bloody cough 
  • Unexplained fevers, weight loss or night sweats


“Patients with testicular masses can have very different symptoms,” explains Munveer Bhangoo, MD, medical oncologist at Scripps MD Anderson Cancer Center and Scripps Clinic. “It can be a painless lump or bump, it can be mild pain or numbness, or it can be acute and severe pain. It’s very important to be vigilant and seek medical attention, if you experience any of these symptoms.”  

SD Health Magazine Winter 2023 Cover

This content appeared in San Diego Health, a publication in partnership between Scripps and San Diego Magazine that celebrates the healthy spirit of San Diego.