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Symptoms of testicular cancer

Testicular cancer gives rise to few symptoms. Often, a feeling of heaviness or a change in size is the only symptom. A primary tumor in the testis can be very small, but still metastasize, for example, to the retroperitoneal space.

Common symptoms

  • Mild pain or heaviness in the testicle
  • Sudden back pain may be due to a retroperitoneal lymph node tumor
  • Coughing or dyspnea due to metastases in the lungs or mediastinum

Clinical findings

  • A defined lump in an otherwise normal testicle
  • Change in consistency of the testicle. The cancerous testicle may be harder or softer than the contralateral testicle. 
  • Gynecomastia, due to production of estrogen-producing elements of the tumor
  • Edema or thrombosis in the lower extremity due to compression of the vena cava

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