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Male patient speaking with his physician

How to know if you have testicular cancer

Testicular cancer develops in the testicles, which are the male reproductive organs responsible for producing sperm and the hormone testosterone. It is a relatively rare form of cancer, accounting for only 1% of all male cancers, but it is the most common cancer in men aged 15-35.

What causes testicular cancer?

While the exact cause of testicular cancer is unknown, several factors can increase a man's risk of developing testicular cancer, including:

  • Young and middle-aged men
  • Cryptorchidism
  • Family history
  • Previous testicular cancer
  • White men


Testicular cancer symptoms

The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a painless lump or swelling in the testicle. However, this symptom can also indicate conditions like kidney stones, infections, vein issues, injury, and other noncancerous issues. Other symptoms associated with testicular cancer include:

  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
  • Back pain


Testicular cancer screenings and diagnosis

While there is no routine screening test for testicular cancer, men can perform regular self-examinations to check for any changes in their testicles. The following are the main screening options for testicular cancer:

  • Self-examination
  • Clinical examination
  • Ultrasound


Testicular cancer treatment and surgery

If diagnosed with testicular cancer, your treatment options will depend on the type and stage of the cancer, as well as other individual factors. An oncologist may use one or more of these options to treat testicular cancer

  • Surgery
  • Chemotherapy
  • Radiation therapy

The multidisciplinary team at St. Luke’s Health—consisting of oncologists, primary care providers, radiologists, and other specialists—works with patients to recommend a treatment plan customized to their specific situation. Talk to your primary care provider for more information.

Cervical cancer is a type of cancer that develops in the cervix, which is the lower part of the uterus. It often develops slowly and may not show any symptoms in its early stages. However, if left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body.

Cervical cancer risk factors

Several factors can increase the risk of developing cervical cancer. Some of the most common ones are:

  • HPV infection
  • Having the first full-term pregnancy before the age of 17
  • Having three or more full-term pregnancies
  • Long-term use of birth control pills
  • Smoking
  • Weak immune system
  • Family history

Cervical cancer symptoms

In the early stages, cervical cancer may not cause any symptoms. However, as the cancer grows and spreads, the following symptoms may occur:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding, such as bleeding between periods, after sex, or after menopause
  • Pain during sex
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pelvic pain
  • Periods that are longer or heavier than normal

Cervical cancer screenings and diagnosis

Regular screening is crucial for detecting cervical cancer early, when it is most treatable. The following screening options are available:

Cervical cancer treatment

The treatment for cervical cancer depends on several factors, including the stage of the cancer, the woman's age and overall health, and whether she wants to have children in the future. Your oncologist may recommend one or more of the following treatment options:

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy

If you or a loved one has concerns about cervical cancer, speak with an oncologist for more information. Our team of oncologists at St. Luke’s Health is trained to diagnose and treat cervical cancer and can provide you with personalized recommendations. Speak with your primary care provider about any questions or concerns you may have about cervical cancer, as early detection and treatment can greatly improve your chances of recovery.

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U.S. News & World Report

Home of the Dan L Duncan Comprehensive Cancer Center, one of only three NCI-Designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers in Texas, U.S. News & World Report has accredited Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center as one of the best hospitals for several specialties, including previous accreditation for compassionate patient-centered cancer care.