People between 20 and 34 years old are the age group with the highest risk for testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is uncommon, but doctors recommend performing regular self-tests at home.

Testicular cancer is a highly treatable cancer that usually has a positive outcome. This cancer typically causes nodules and lumps to form in the testicles.

You can regularly check your testicles by rolling them between your fingers and looking for lumps and changes in their shape. Testicular cancer may also make them feel harder than usual or heavier.

If you notice any change, you should promptly contact a doctor. Diagnosing testicular cancer early can improve treatment outcomes.

This article reviews the age groups most at risk for developing testicular cancer, as well as symptoms to look for, other risk factors, and screening options.

The 5 most common signs and symptoms of testicular cancer:

  • swelling of one or both testicles
  • a lump or change in the shape of a testicle
  • discomfort or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum and abdomen
  • a breast growth or soreness (gynecomastia)
  • early puberty in people with testicles
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According to the National Cancer Institute, testicular cancer is most commonly diagnosed among people assigned male at birth between the ages of 20 and 34. The median age of diagnosis is 32.

The following table lists the incidence rates of testicular cancer per age group. All data is based on SEER statistics from 2012 to 2018 in the United States.

Age at diagnosisPercent of new cases per 100,000 people assigned male at birth

Is testicular cancer fatal?

Testicular cancer is typically not fatal, meaning people do not often die due to testicular cancer.

This cancer typically has a favorable outlook. In the United States, the 5-year relative survival rate is estimated to be 95%.

The outcomes of this type of cancer have steadily improved in recent years thanks to better diagnostic and treatment methods.

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Testicular cancer is uncommon. While the exact causes of testicular cancer are currently unknown, it’s thought that certain factors can increase a person’s risk of developing it.

Risk factors may include having:

You should consider contacting a doctor if you notice any changes in your testicles or scrotum, or if you experience pain or discomfort in your genitals.

They can perform a physical exam and recommend additional tests for testicular cancer if they think that may be appropriate based on your exam and medical history.

A routine medical screening test for testicular cancer is not currently available. However, you can perform a self-exam of your testicles to look for signs of testicular cancer.

Here’s how to perform a self-exam of your testicles:

  1. With one hand, hold your penis out of the way.
  2. Then, carefully examine each testicle separately. You can do this by gently rolling each testicle between the thumb and fingers of your other hand.
  3. You want to look or feel for any lumps or changes in the size, shape, or consistency of your testicles.

Try to perform a testicular self-exam at least once a month. It may be easier to perform a self-exam during or after a warm shower or bath. This helps to relax the skin of your scrotum, which allows you to feel your testicles more easily.

Remember, it’s common to have one testicle that’s bigger than the other. That bigger testicle will usually hang a bit lower than the other.

What to look and feel for during a self-exam

During a testicular self-exam, you are looking and feeling for the following:

  • changes in the size of a testicle
  • presence of hard lumps
  • changes in the shape of a testicle
  • presence of smooth round nodules
  • changes in the consistency of a testicle

If you notice any of these or have any concerns about your testicles, make an appointment with a doctor for a physical exam. If they suspect you have testicular cancer, they may refer you to a specialist who can perform further tests.

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Testicular cancer is uncommon and typically treatable. Most people with testicular cancer have a positive outcome. However, this may vary depending on the stage of cancer at diagnosis.

People between the ages of 20 and 34 have the highest risk for testicular cancer.

The causes of this condition are currently unknown. However, certain factors can increase the risk of developing testicular cancer, including having HIV or an undescended testicles.

You can perform a testicular self-exam by rolling your testicles between your fingers and looking for hard or smooth lumps in your scrotum.

If you notice a change in your testicles or a new lump, reach out to a healthcare professional immediately.