Dec 16, 2019 9:00 AM

Can Teens Get Testicular Cancer? Signs, Symptoms, & Self-Tests

Talking Testicular Cancer to Teens

On average, 9,000 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed every year. It’s an uncommon disease, affecting one in every 250 males during their lifetime. Although the average age at the time of diagnosis is 33, testicular cancer can affect teens starting at 15 years old.

Luckily, when cancer is found early, it’s much more curable. Talking with your teenage sons about how to detect testicular cancer can ensure early detection, but what should you say?

Keep it simple.

Since you don’t need a medical test to find testicular cancer, explain to your teen that they can check for it on their own. Make sure they know that this disease is curable and how to do a self-check on a monthly basis.

How to Test Yourself for Testicular Cancer

The shower is a great place to do a self-check, since the skin around the testicles is relaxed, allowing them to drop.

How to perform a testicular self-exam:

  1. Hold the top of one testicle between your thumb and pointer finger while cupping the bottom with your other hand.
  2. Gently roll the testicle with a light grip feeling for hard lumps or bumps.

If your son is doing a self-exam once a month, he should be able to notice any irregularities if/when they happen. If he does notice any changes, he should let you know immediately, so you can make an appointment with his health care provider to get to the bottom of the problem.

Testicular Cancer Symptoms & Signs 

Other signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include:

  • a dull ache in the lower abdomen or the groin,
  • a sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum, and
  • pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum.

Risk factors for testicular cancer include personal history of the disease, having an undescended testicle, and having an abnormal development of the testicles.

Talking with your kids about cancer can be scary and talking with your kids about their reproductive organs can be awkward, but it’s important. These conversations are vital when it comes to detecting this curable disease.

Learn more about testicular cancer.

testicular-cancer mens health parenting

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