A number of different types of cancer may develop in the testicles. The types of testicular cancer includes embryomas, seminomas (most common and least serious), choriocarcinoma, teratomas, and a number of rarer ones. The cause is unknown, but it is a rare form of cancer that develops in one in every 50,000 adult men every year. It is most common in early adult and middle-age.
The man finds a firm lump, hardening, unusual tenderness or gradual enlargement of the testicle. There is often no pain, but unusually some patient’s develop small breasts due to excess production of female oestrogen by the tumour. The cancer may spread to the lymph nodes in the groin, the lungs and liver.
Some types of cancer can be detected by blood tests, but any hard lump in the scrotum must be investigated by ultrasound, and if necessary surgically biopsied, to determine the exact cause. Treatment involves removing the affected testicle and nearby lymph nodes, followed by irradiation or cytotoxic drugs depending upon the type of cancer present. Overall the cure rate is over 90%.