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Testicular Cancer: Signs, Symptoms and Screening

Signs and Symptoms

Most patients with testicular cancer have a painless, solid mass or swelling of the testis.  Only 10% of testicular exams present with pain.  Some other signs and symptoms of testicular cancer are:

  • Early puberty–deepening of voice, hair growth on face and body
  • Back pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Cough (may become bloody)
  • Breast enlargement/tenderness
  • Chest pain
  • Headaches

If any of these are present in you or a loved one, contact your doctor immediately for more information.


 Most men with testicular cancer have no known risk factors.  It is important to be aware of any changes in the shape, size, or consistency of the testicles.  In order to keep track of this, you should perform a monthly testicular self-exam.  To perform this exam:

  1. Examine testicles using both hands.  Place the index and middle fingers on the bottom of the testicle, and place your thumbs on the top side.
  2. Gently roll the testicle between the fingers while feeling for any odd bumps or change in consistency.  Make sure to examine the testicle completely, on all sides, before proceeding to the second testicle.

Who should be screened more regularly because of increased risk?

Aside from performing self-exams, it is important to see your physician regularly.  Individuals who have a family or personal history of testicular cancer should be regularly examined by their medical providers, especially if there have been any recent findings during a self-exam.

For more information:

Go to the Testicular Cancer health topic.