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Lumps Cysts and Swollen Testicles - Signs of Testicular Cancer

  • Synopsis: Published: 2009-07-03 (Rev. 2016-11-21) - Some causes associated with swollen testicles are hydrocele varicocele and cysts. For further information pertaining to this article contact: Kacy Carr.

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"Men born with a stubborn testicle, meaning it stays in the abdominal cavity rather than sliding into the scrotum, may be at greater risk of developing testicular cancer."

Some causes associated with swollen testicles are hydrocele, varicocele, and cysts. Just because the genital area is swollen and may look sore, it doesn't mean that it is. Depending on the condition involved would determine pain and soreness. A regular explanation given for swollen testicles occurring is that they have happened due to build up of harmless fluids.

Although not normally a reason for concern, it is however always a good idea to check out something that bothers you, and especially more so if it is linked to a health related matter.

First you're not to panic because you have swollen testicles; because there may be a perfectly simple explanation why they have swelled.

Let us look at some possible causes that could have give reason for this problem.

Some causes associated with swollen testicles are hydrocele, varicocele, and cysts.

Just because the genital area is swollen and may look sore, it doesn't mean that it is. Depending on the condition involved would determine pain and soreness. A regular explanation given for swollen testicles occurring is that they have happened due to build up of harmless fluids. Which when you think about it, is an appropriate reason for why they look the way they do "full and heavy." Swollen testicles on the other hand can also be a symptom of testicular cancer.

Hydrocele as mentioned earlier as to being one cause for swollen testicles is common in newborn infants and the elderly. Not overlooking that any age group can be affected also. Hydrocele happens as a result of fluids stocking up between the two membranes that cover the testicles. One or both testicles can swell. This specific condition sees swelling gradually increase over the weeks and run into months. Swelling caused by hydrocele does not normally bring pain to the patient. If the testicles show as chronically swollen, medical involvement may be necessary. The pressure causing swelling will need to be released. This may include withdrawing fluid out of the testicular membrane using a fine needle (fine needle aspiration can be painful because it is a sensitive area.)

Testicular cysts, also known as spermatocele, are fluid-filled cysts that develop on the epididymis. Spermatocele contain sperm and normally show on the top section of the epidermis. As like hydrocele, testicular cysts are not known for causing pain, and the good news about cysts located around the genitals is they do not typically require treatment. Having said this there are particular cysts that might need surgery as a form of treatment whether they are linked to the problem of swollen testicles. Surgery or needle aspiration might be imminent if the spermatocele is big enough and affecting the look of the scrotum.

Varicocele the other cause we spoke of behind swollen testicles developing, happens when blood flow inside the spermatic cord veins becomes thwarted, resulting in a swollen scrotum. When standing erect, the swollen veins in the scrotum may feel like a "bag of worms." Not nice sounding but the best description we can give on the feel. Less swelling is seen of the scrotum when the man is lying down flat on his back. 15% of the male species at some point in their lives will experience an episode of Varicocele. It is not a dangerous condition; however one associated with 35 percent of male infertility cases. Surgery is normally only carried out to correct varicocele if fertility is giving cause for concern. It is important to have your GP check you over so you can eliminate the possibility of it being testicular cancer

Swollen testicles and scrotum swelling have been in some cases recognized as a symptom of testicular cancer. But take heed that a swollen scrotum is more likely the outcome of other disorders and conditions.

Symptoms

  • The primary symptom of testicular cancer is a lump, irregularity or swelling in one testicle.
  • A pulling feeling or strange heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull throbbing in the groin/lower abdomen
  • Odd pain spasms in the testicle or scrotum
  • Tenderness or enlargement of tissue around the breast
  • A sudden flood of fluid in the scrotum

These symptoms don't always mean you have testicular cancer. But you should see your doctor if you are concerned about your symptoms if they are akin to the ones mentioned above. It has been known as a first symptom of testicular cancer in men to suffer lower back pain, stomach pain or cough.

Causes

As we speak we can't give a definite cause of testicular cancer but research goes on.

Men born with a stubborn testicle, meaning it stays in the abdominal cavity rather than sliding into the scrotum, may be at greater risk of developing testicular cancer.

Other factors given consideration for causing testicular cancer are:

  • Having a male family member who has had testicular cancer
  • Fertility issues
  • Having an uncommon complication of mumps called orchitis (testicle swelling and soreness)

It is important to point out at this stage that having a vasectomy or injury to the testicles does not cause testicular cancer.

Diagnosis

We all see and feel lumps from time to time, and most of them even those in the scrotum are harmless (not testicular cancer.) Nonetheless if you have one or more of the symptoms above, seek medical advice. A physical examination may be performed by your doctor - who may refer you to an urologist - a specialist specializing in the urinary organ. An ultrasound scan maybe suggested so your GP can examine your testicles closer. If the ultrasound scan indicates signs of cancer, a surgical method called a biopsy will be done to clarify the finding. The biopsy will also help determine what type of cancer is present. The biopsy will include removing a small amount of the tumor for further testing under a microscope in a laboratory. If the biopsy confirms cancer, the doctor will remove the affected part of your testicle.

The upsetting thing about cancer is, it cannot be prevented; however you can reduce the threats that put you at risk for particular cancers, and sadly testicular cancer is not one of them because the risk factors are out of man's jurisdiction like age, race, and conditions occurring at birth. Hearing this is good enough reason to become despondent but you are not to allow this to happen to you. What you need to look towards is eating a healthy diet giving the body essential nutrients it needs, and take up exercise. This alone will make you feel good. A healthy body has more power to fight illness and disease if it is in good shape.

The best advice I can give to all fella's is, we are all scared and this doesn't make you any less of a man if you are feared. You may well be able to hold your own up against the next guy in a fist cuff match, but trying to fight something you "can't see" then its game over. Let your GP do the fighting. You can only win this battle the quicker your GP knows about it. Seek medical help sooner than later, it makes sense if you want to beat this.



Related:

  1. Painful Testicles - Varicocele and Scrotum Swelling - A varicocele is one or more swollen veins in the scrotum that lead upward from the testicles toward the heart become abnormally swollen - Bob Maloney
  2. Prostate Cancer: Symptoms & Treatment - Information on prostate cancer including diagnosis, causes, symptoms and treatment options.
  3. Male Prostate Specific Antigen Levels and Chart - Information regarding the male PSA test performed for checking for prostate gland enlargement and/or cancer - Ian Langtree



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