Oftentimes the most important conversations are the ones we aren’t having. Whether it be in a relationship or about your own health, discussing and learning about these tough topics are important. This month is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month and it’s a topic that many penis owners neglect to have. But what is it? And how common is it really? Testicular health is often solely discussed with a doctor and overlooked in a common self exam. Let’s take a deeper look at these topics so that tomorrow and in the days to come, you know what to look for and are cautious of this relatively common type of cancer.

What is it?

Like other cancers, testicular cancer occurs when germ cells abnormally grow in a specified area. These masses of cells, called tumors, invade normal tissue and can potentially create a variety of embryonic features such as hair, nail, teeth or more. It is possible that this type of cancer can metastasize, meaning that it potentially spreads to other parts of the body. Most often, this can spread to the abdomen, liver, lungs, bones and even the brain if not detected. While unlikely, if left undetected, testicular cancer can become deadly due to the rapid speed of it spreading. During this time, cells migrate to these other areas and can grow at a rate so quickly that it can double in size within 30 days. Sadly, it is the most common cancer in penis owners aged 15-44.

Warning Signs and Symptoms:

When it comes to things to look out for, luckily there are plenty to help you know when it’s the right time to see your doctor, such as:

 - Lumps of any size on your testicle

 - Changes in shape or size of the testicle, or any other irregularities

 - Pain or discomfort around the scrotum or testicles

 - Feelings of pressure or aches in the lower abdomen or back

 - Heaviness or fullness sensations in the scrotum

 - Enlargement or tenderness in the breast area due to elevated hormone levels

While these are common symptoms, they can grow to be more intense over time and often are painless and, in some cases, unnoticeable at first. That being said, more advanced symptoms are:

 - Significant weight loss

 - Back pain

 - Chest pain, often caused by coughing or difficulty breathing

 - Coughing up blood if spread to the lungs

 - Enlargement of lymph nodes in the abdomen and/or neck

If any of these symptoms become present, consult your doctor as soon as possible! Be sure to keep an eye out for more information this month as we continue to discuss and learn about Testicular Cancer. For more information, check out https://www.testicularcancerawarenessfoundation.org for more information!