Skip to content

Men's Health

Select An Article

Testicular Disease

Font Size

They may be rare, but testicular diseases can be a pain and in some cases even life threatening if you don't recognize them and do something about them early. Here's how.

Why should I care about testicular disease?

Happily, significant testicular disease is uncommon and usually not serious. Occasionally, however, it can be life threatening. It's important to see a doctor for any testicular pain or any change in your testicles, such as a lump or firmness. Even if you're embarrassed, delaying an evaluation is not worth the risk.

As you might guess, testicular cancer is the most serious form of testicular disease. It's also the most common cancer in men aged 18 to 35. About 7,900 men will get testicular cancer this year, but let's keep that in perspective. Testicular cancer only accounts for 1% of cancer in men in the U.S., and it's usually curable. There will be only about 380 deaths from testicular cancer this year, and almost 140,000 men in the U.S. are alive today after surviving testicular cancer.

Risk factors for testicular cancer include:

  • previous history of testicular cancer
  • undescended testicle as a child
  • a close relative with testicular cancer

More common than testicular cancer is epididymitis, which is inflammation of the epididymis, a tubular structure next to the testicle where sperm mature. About 600,000 men get it each year, most commonly between the ages of 19 and 35. Unprotected sex or having multiple sex partners increases the risk of infectious epididymitis.

As many as one out of every five men has varicocele, which refers to swollen and dilated veins above the testicles, a condition that is usually small and insignificant. Hydroceles, which come from increased fluid around the testicle, also pose little risk.

What is testicular disease?

Testicular disease can take a variety of forms:

Testicular cancer. Like any cancer, testicular cancer happens when cells in the testicle develop mutations that cause them to "misbehave." The cells may multiply recklessly and invade areas where they don't belong. In testicular cancer, this process usually creates a slow-growing painless lump or firmness in one testicle. In most cases, the man himself discovers it at an early stage. If a man gets medical attention early on, testicular cancer is almost always curable.

Next Article:

Today on WebMD

man coughing
Men shouldn’t ignore.
man swinging in hammock
And how to get out it.
 
shaving tools
On your shaving skills.
muscular man flexing
Four facts that matter.
 
Food Men 10 Foods Boost Male Health
Slideshow
Thoughtful man sitting on bed
Quiz
 
Man taking blood pressure
Slideshow
doctor holding syringe
Slideshow
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Condom Quiz
Quiz
thumbnail_angry_couple_in_bed
Slideshow
 
man running
Quiz
older couple in bed
Video