Testicular cancer : Symptoms

Typical symptoms are a painless swelling or lump in 1 of the testicles, or any change in shape or texture of the testicles.

The swelling or lump can be about the size of a pea, but may be larger.

Most lumps or swellings in the scrotum are not in the testicle and are not a sign of cancer, but they should never be ignored.


Other symptoms

Testicular cancer can also cause other symptoms, including:

  • an increase in the firmness of a testicle
  • a difference in apperance between 1 testicle and the other
  • a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
  • a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum

When to see a GP

See a GP if you notice a swelling, lump or any other change in 1 of your testicles.

Lumps within the scrotum can have many different causes, and testicular cancer is rare.

Your GP will examine you and if they think the lump is in your testicle, they may consider cancer as a possible cause.

Only a very small minority of scrotal lumps or swellings are cancerous. For example, swollen blood vessels (varicoceles) and cysts in the tubes around the testicle (epididymal cysts) are common causes of testicular lumps.

If you do have testicular cancer, the sooner treatment begins, the greater the likelihood that you'll be completely cured.

If you do not feel comfortable visiting a GP, you can go to your local sexual health clinic, where a healthcare professional will be able to examine you.

Metastatic cancer

If testicular cancer has spread to other parts of your body, you may also experience other symptoms.

Cancer that's spread to other parts of the body is known as metastatic cancer.

Around 5% of people with testicular cancer will experience symptoms of metastatic cancer.

The most common place for testicular cancer to spread to is nearby lymph nodes in your tummy (abdomen) or lungs. Lymph nodes are glands that make up your immune system.

Less commonly, the cancer can spread to your liver, brain or bones.

Symptoms of metastatic testicular cancer can include:

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