LUMPS IN YOUR TESTICLES
On examining your testicles (which you should do at least once a month), you discover a lump.
Lumps and swellings in the gonad department can be caused by many things other than cancer. These include epididymal cysts (fluid collecting on the epididymis, the tube behind the testicles),
epididymo-orchitis (inflammation of the epididymis and testicles), inguinal hernias (where tissue pokes through into your groin), hydroceles (a build-up of fluid) or varicoceles (swollen veins). A sudden and very painful swelling of a gonad
could be due to testicular torsion.
WHAT TO DO
If you find a lump, consult your GP. ‘Your job is to find the lump. My job is to tell you what it is,’ says Ratajczak. If the doctor is concerned, he or she may send you for an ultrasound scan. Sudden or
severe pain should send you straight to A&E.
Epididymal cysts are harmless and normally don’t need treatment. Epididymo-orchitis usually calls for antibiotics, while varicoceles are often
treated with painkillers and supportive underwear but may need to be operated on. Hydroceles are surgically drained, and inguinal
hernias require a routine operation, but testicular torsion is more serious (and a lot more painful) and will need urgent surgery within hours
to save the testicle. Testicular cancer usually means removal of the
offending gonad, sometimes followed by chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy. ‘The doctor plans your treatment by taking into account the
type of testicular cancer and whether it has spread beyond the testicle,’ says cancer nurse Robert Cornes of male cancer charity Orchid