In this column, I’ve once talked about key cancer warning signs that should NEVER be ignored. And when it comes to testicular cancer particularly, a lump on a testicle is seen as one of the key warnings. Of course it is! But don’t panic.
According to a recent research done by the American Cancer Society (ACS), four out of five testicular lump examinations are benign, meaning they are harmless and certainly not testicular cancer and this resembles the same graph in Tanzania. However, if you notice a lump on the testicle, precaution should be taken.
Let’s look at the symptoms
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a painless lump on or in a testicle. If your lump is painful, it is good news. But few of the testicular tumours might cause pain. Men with testicular cancer may also have a heavy arching feeling in the lower belly or scrotum.
There are actually a lot of possible explanations for lumps on or in your testicle(s) beside cancer. Because it is hard to figure out the cause based on symptoms alone; it is important to have changes checked by a healthcare provider.
Conditions that can cause a testicle lump, swelling, and/or pain:
• One of the very common condition that can cause testicular lump is ‘torsion’ of the testicle. In testicular torsion, one of the testicles gets twisted inside the scrotum. This cuts off the blood supply to the testicle and other structures, leading to sudden, severe pain in the scrotum along with swelling and redness. Torsion is a medical emergency that needs to be treated right away.
• Physical injury and infection may also trigger testicle lump and pain. Injury to the scrotum or testicle, can cause pain right away.
It may also cause gradual pain and swelling later on. A testicular injury can be painful but it does not cause cancer.
• Certain infections in the scrotum can sometimes cause lump and painful sensation in or on the testicle. And these are usually caused by bacteria or viruses.
This is not to say that finding a lump, thickening or change in or on your testicle is not serious. I reiterate once again that any such changes should be checked by your doctor right away.