What should I tell my teenage son about testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer found in young men 20 to 34 years old and has a high survival rate when treated early. However, it can only be treated early if it is detected early. Men must know the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer as well as how to perform a testicular self-exam. According to the National Cancer Institute, the following are possible symptoms of testicular cancer:

  • Painless lump or swelling in a testicle
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • Any enlargement of a testicle or change in the way it feels
  • A heavy feeling in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen, back or groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum

These may be symptoms of another medical condition, so it is important to see your doctor for a professional opinion.

An important thing to remember about self-exams is that they are not performed routinely just to find a lump or suspicious area.

Self-examinations are important to help you know what is normal for you in order to detect when something does feel abnormal. Males as young as 14 should consider performing self-exams once a month to understand what feels normal in order to detect any abnormality later in life. See your doctor (preferably an urologist) immediately if you find any abnormalities.

For more information contact Courtney Britton, librarian at Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge at (225) 927-2273, cbritton@cancerservices.org , or visit the Education Center at 550 Lobdell Ave.

ä ON THE INTERNET:

Testicular Cancer Resource Center

http://tcrc.acor.org/index.html

Teens Health: How to Perform a Testicular Self Exam:

http://www.kidshealth.org/teen/sexual_health/guys/tse.html

This column is presented as a service by Cancer Services of Greater Baton Rouge, a United Way affiliate.