Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer, or cancer of the testicles, is one of the less common and most treatable types of cancer. It usually affects younger men between the ages of 15 and 44. It is important that you know the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer and visit your GP if you have any concerns.

Signs and symptoms

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling in one of your testicles. The lump can be about the size of a pea, but may be larger. Most lumps or swellings are not a sign of cancer, but they should never be ignored.

Other symptoms

Testicular cancer can also cause other symptoms, including:

  • a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
  • a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
  • a dull ache in your lower abdomen (stomach area)
  • a sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum (hydrocele)
  • fatigue
  • a general feeling of being unwell

When to see your GP

It is very important to visit your GP as soon as you notice any lump or swelling on your testicle.

Your GP will examine your testicles to help determine whether or not the lump is cancerous.

In the unlikely event that you do have testicular cancer, the sooner treatment begins, the better the chances you will be completely cured.

Causes of testicular cancer

It is not known exactly what causes testicular cancer, but there are some things that can increase your risk of developing the condition. Risk factors include:

  • having a family history of testicular cancer
  • being born with undescended testicles
  • smoking


The type of treatment you receive for testicular cancer depends on the type and stage of your cancer. The first treatment option for all cases of testicular cancer, whatever the stage, is to surgically remove the affected testicle (an orchiectomy). Other treatment options included chemotherapy and radiotherapy.


Testicular cancer is very treatable. Over 95 per cent of men with early stage testicular cancer will be completely cured. Even cases of more advanced testicular cancer, where the cancer has spread outside the testicles to nearby tissue, have an 80 per cent chance of being cured.

You can find out more about testicular cancer at the following link.

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