The chances of making a full recovery from testicular cancer are good, but finding it early makes it easier to treat, which is why it’s important to check your balls from time to time for anything weird. Doing it after a bath or shower is a good idea, because the skin around your balls is loose and relaxed. Get used to what feels normal, and if you notice anything unusual, book a trip to the doctor.
If you feel a swelling or lump, it’s important to get it checked out (though most lumps won’t be cancer). A heavy feeling in your balls can also be a warning sign. And if you have cancer and it’s spread to other parts of your body, you might get back, groin or stomach pain, breathlessness or a persistent cough.
How's it diagnosed?
If your doctor thinks you might have testicular cancer, you’ll see a specialist who will chat to you about your health, examine your balls, take blood and give you an ultrasound. The blood tests can show whether you have high levels of certain chemicals that can be caused by cancer. And the ultrasound will show lumps or cysts – if it isn’t clear, you might also have an MRI or CT scan.
You can find out more about all of these techniques in our Getting diagnosed section.
How's it treated?
The first stage in treating testicular cancer is surgery to remove the testicle. You can choose to have a fake, prosthetic testicle fitted in its place, so everything looks like it did before. If your cancer is more advanced you might also then need radiotherapy or chemotherapy, which can stop the cancer returning and kill off any remaining cancer cells.
Find out more about cancer treatments.