Testicular cancer

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:45 pm
Cancer of the testes (test-tees) is one of the rarest forms of cancer, yet one of the most easily cured when detected early. The main symptom is a hard lump in the testicle. Because there usually is no pain, you may not be aware of the lump unless you examine your testicles. The majority of testicular cancers occur in men between the ages of 15 to 35, but men of all ages should examine their testicles regularly. The American Cancer Society recommends self-examination monthly, usually after a warm shower or bath. With your thumbs in front and fingers in back, you should gently feel the surface of each testicle for a firm lump about the size of a pea. Although most lumps are non-cancerous, it is recommended you consult a physician immediately if one is found. Other symptoms include swelling or heaviness in the scrotum, which is the pouch that holds the testes. Testicular cancer is usually treated by removal of the affected testes. It rarely occurs in both testes, and by removing only the affected gland, fertility can be maintained. Follow-up treatment may involve radiation therapy or chemotherapy. Early treatment provides the best opportunity for full recovery. For more information on testicular cancer, contact your healthcare provider.

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