Signs and Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer does not always produce symptoms. A mass or lump in the testicle is usually the first sign of the disease. The mass may or may not be painful. Other symptoms include testicular swelling, hardness, and a feeling of heaviness or aching in the scrotum or lower abdomen.

Some types of testicular cancer (e.g., choriocarcinoma, Leydig cell tumors, Sertoli cell tumors) produce high levels of hormones (e.g., human chorionic gonadotropin [HCG], estrogen, testosterone). Increased levels of HCG may cause breast tenderness and abnormal growth of breast tissue (gynecomastia). Increased levels of estrogen may cause a loss of sexual desire (libido) and increased levels of testosterone may cause premature growth of facial and body hair in boys.

Testicular cancer that has spread to other organs (metastasized) may cause low back pain, shortness of breath, chest pain, and cough.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 15 Jun 1998

Last Modified: 18 Nov 2011