Testicular Cancer Symptoms

Men should have an awareness of testicular cancer symptoms. Most men associate testicular cancer with testicle lumps and tumors, but these are not necessarily the first symptoms men experience. During the early stages of testicular cancer, men may not experience any symptoms at all, and the cancer may only be detected by blood tests or an infertility exam.

Lumps and Other Common Testicular Cancer Symptoms

Non-Seminoma Testicular CancerThe development of lumps or tumors on either one the testicles is often the first symptom of testicular cancer. The tumors are often painless and usually only appear on one of the testicles. Lumps are usually detected by men checking their own testicles through a monthly TSE.

Not all tumors can be detected as lumps on the testicles, however. Testicles may increase in size due to tumors, or feel harder than normal. Tumors may also result in a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, even if no lumps are noticed on the surface of the testicles.

Other symptoms of testicular cancer are less noticeable than lumps or tumors. Men may feel as if the scrotum is swollen, possibly due to fluid accumulating in the scrotal sac. If testicular cancer has spread to local lymph nodes, symptoms may include a general “achiness” in the abdomen, groin, or even the lower back.

Some men may also report a lowered sex drive due to testicular cancer. Other symptoms may include chronic fatigue, or feeling “run down” and unwell.

Pain and the Testicles

Although lumps and tumors may cause pain in the testicles, pain is not always present in testicular cancer. Pain in the testicles often indicates testicular problems other than cancer. This does not mean than testicle tumors cannot cause pain, only that pain can also be due to several non-cancerous health conditions.

Men, Breast Growth, and Gynecomastia

Gynecomastia is the medical term for breast tissue growth and tenderness in men. Certain types of testicular cancer cause hormonal changes that result in men experiencing breast growth.


Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research. (2002). Testicular cancer: Signs and symptoms. Retrieved November 4, 2003, from www.mayoclinic.com/invoke.cfm?objectid=91B1CB36-2B25-4B93-8FB60CFCA C19B62D