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We deliver compassionate care and effective treatments for testicular cancer. To learn more, call UCLA Urology at 310-794-7700.

Testicular Cancer Symptoms and Risk Factors

A person may have the following signs and symptoms of testicular cancer:

Testicular cancer signs and symptoms

  • Painless lump, swelling, or heaviness in the scrotum
  • Hardness in the testicle
  • Any enlargement of a testicle or change in the way it feels
  • Testicular pain or discomfort
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen, back, or groin

These symptoms can also be caused by conditions besides cancer, such as an infection or cyst. These symptoms should not be ignored. It is important to talk to a doctor to find out if an exam and tests are needed.

Incidence and Risk Factors of Testicular Cancer

Although there is no known cause, several factors are known to raise a man’s risk of testicular cancer. These are:

  • Undescended testicle (cryptorchidism).  Normally, the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum before birth.  The risk of testicular cancer increases in the testicle that has not descended.  This risk does not change even if this is corrected by surgery.
  • Congenital abnormalities.  Men born with abnormalities involving the penis, testicles, or kidneys, as well as those who have a hernia in the groin area, may be at increased risk.
  • Family history.  Having a brother or father who had testicular cancer increases the risk.
  • History of testicular cancer.  Men diagnosed with cancer in one testicle are at increased risk of developing the disease in the other testicle.
  • Race/ethnicity.  In the United States, testicular cancer is much more common in Caucasians than in other ethnic groups, with rates highest among men of Scandinavian descent. For reasons that are not clear, the number of testicular cancer cases has doubled among Caucasian men in the last four decades.

For the majority of men diagnosed with testicular cancer, there are no known risk factors.

Testicular Cancer Webinar

Mark S. Litwin, MD, MPH, chair of Urology at UCLA, discusses testicular cancer.