Testicular Cancer

Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is now highly curable, especially if diagnosed in good timeSome men we interviewed looked for lumps, having been encouraged to examine themselves by their mothers. Typically the man or his partner finds a painless lump in the testicle. Lumps, swellings and asymmetry are not always due to cancer, but it is sensible to have any lump or swelling examined by a doctor. Here men  we interviewed describe how they found a lump while taking a bath or a shower. (For more on self-examination see 'Message to others'.)

Audio onlyText only
Read below

Enlargement or swelling of one testicle is also common. The testicle may feel abnormally firm or hard when touched, or the texture may feel different.

Sometimes symptoms are not so specific. One man we spoke to said that his testicle just didn't 'feel right', after an incident when his baby kicked him. Another recalled that the first symptom he noticed was general fatigue. It was only much later, after he had consulted his GP on two occasions that he noticed that one of his testicles was swollen. Another man noticed that he had a slight irritation when ejaculating. This was the only symptom he had.

Some men discovered lumps or other irregularities after they or their wives had read articles in the paper, or heard about testicular cancer on the radio or television.

Sometimes men experience discomfort or pain in the testicle before a lump is discovered.

Audio onlyText only
Read below

Less commonly, men with metastases, when the cancer has spread to the para-aortic lymph nodes, experience back pain before they find anything wrong with a testicle.

Audio onlyText only
Read below

Occasionally, men with pulmonary metastases (when the cancer has spread to the lung) first discover they have testicular cancer because they are breathless or because they are coughing up blood.  

Rarely, men may discover they have a problem because the cancer has spread to another part of the body and first appears as a lump under the skin.

Very occasionally, men may experience tender nipples, the development of breasts or excessive sweating, symptoms that are caused by a hormone that is produced by some testicular tumours.

Audio onlyText only
Read below
Last reviewed December 2017.
Last updated December 2017.


Please use the form below to tell us what you think of the site. We’d love to hear about how we’ve helped you, how we could improve or if you have found something that’s broken on the site. We are a small team but will try to reply as quickly as possible.

Please note that we are unable to accept article submissions or offer medical advice. If you are affected by any of the issues covered on this website and need to talk to someone in confidence, please contact The Samaritans or your Doctor.

Make a Donation to healthtalk.org

Find out more about how you can help us.

Send to a friend

Simply fill out this form and we'll send them an email