Do I Have Testicular Cancer?

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Do I Have Testicular Cancer?

Men who develop lumps, swelling, or pain in their groin or scrotum may worry they have testicular cancer. Here we describe the symptoms of testicular cancer and some other problems that could cause symptoms in this part of the body. We also include information on how to do a testicular self-exam for men who want to do so.

This is not meant to be a complete guide to testicular symptoms, nor is it meant to give medical advice or replace the expertise and judgment of a doctor. If you notice any changes in your testicles, you should see a doctor so that the cause can be found and treated, if needed.

The testicles

Testicles are a part of the male reproductive system. In adult males, these 2 organs are each normally a little smaller than a golf ball. They are contained within a sac of skin called the scrotum, which hangs beneath the base of the penis.

Testicles have 2 main functions:

  • They make male hormones (androgens) such as testosterone.
  • They make sperm, the male cells needed to fertilize a female’s egg to start a pregnancy.

Sperm cells form inside the testicle and are then stored in the epididymis, a small coiled tube behind each testicle, where they mature.

During ejaculation (orgasm), sperm cells travel from the epididymis through the vas deferens to the seminal vesicles, where they mix with fluids made by the vesicles, the prostate gland, and other glands to form semen. This fluid then travels through the urethra and out of the body through the tip of the penis.

Last Medical Review: 01/20/2015
Last Revised: 01/29/2015