While testicular cancer and prostate cancer have some similarities, such as a potential for early detection and effective treatment, they have key differences in risk factors, symptoms, and incidence rates.
Testicular cancer and prostate cancer are two types of cancer that affect the male reproductive system.
Here we explore the similarities and differences between these two types of cancer, including symptoms, risk factors, and diagnosis. We also discuss whether one type of cancer leads to another, as well as the treatments and outlook for both types.
In this article, we talk about two types of cancer that occur in people assigned male at birth. Your gender identity may not align with the sex you were assigned at birth. For information about the difference between sex and gender, see this article.
Knowing the symptoms of testicular and prostate cancer can help you detect cancer early.
Testicular cancer symptoms
Symptoms of testicular cancer
- a lump or enlargement in a testicle
- a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
- pain or discomfort in your testicles, scrotum, groin, or abdomen
- fluid buildup in your scrotum
Prostate cancer symptoms
Symptoms of prostate cancer
Risk factors for both cancers vary, especially with age.
Testicular cancer risk factors
Risk factors for testicular cancer
- Age: This cancer is more common in men 20–35 years old.
- Race: White people are more likely to develop testicular cancer than people of other races.
- Undescended testicle: Having a testicle that never descended increases your risk.
- Family history: If your father or brother has had testicular cancer, you may be at higher risk.
- HIV: Having HIV increases your risk of getting testicular cancer.
Prostate cancer risk factors
Risk factors for prostate cancer
- Age: Risk increases with age, especially after age 50.
- Ethnicity: African American males and Caribbean males of African descent carry a greater risk of prostate cancer than those of other ethnicities.
- Family history: Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles your risk.
- Genetics: Some genetic mutations can increase your risk.
These are two separate types of cancer that start in different parts of your body. Therefore, testicular cancer does not become prostate cancer, or vice versa.
Still, some studies have found correlations between the two.
For example, a 2019 case study suggests that it’s possible but very rare for prostate cancer to metastasize, or spread, into the testicles. Also, people who have had testicular cancer may have a
Doctors use several tools and tests to diagnose testicular and prostate cancer, but the methods are not always identical.
Testicular cancer diagnosis
For testicular cancer, a physical examination is often the first step. A doctor will check your testicles for lumps, swelling, or pain.
If they suspect an abnormality, they will
You can self-screen for testicular cancer by checking whether you have any lumps or whether one testicle is larger than the other.
Doctors will not perform a biopsy on suspected testicular cancer because this increases the risk that the cancer will spread to nearby lymph nodes.
Prostate cancer diagnosis
A prostate cancer diagnosis also starts with a physical exam.
If a doctor suspects an issue with your prostate, they will perform a digital rectal exam so they can feel your prostate for any abnormalities.
However, a PSA test on its own is not definitive and may indicate cancer when there is none. It’s possible to purchase at-home PSA tests, but it’s far better to have regular checkups with a doctor.
Although testicular and prostate cancers both affect the male reproductive system, they involve different treatment approaches.
Testicular cancer treatment
Prostate cancer treatment
Prostate cancer treatment varies depending on how aggressive the cancer is and whether it has spread. Options
Both testicular and prostate cancer generally have a positive outlook.
Testicular cancer prognosis
Testicular cancer generally has an excellent outlook, with an overall 5-year relative survival rate of
Prostate cancer prognosis
The outlook for prostate cancer depends on several factors, including the cancer’s aggressiveness and stage at diagnosis. For localized prostate cancer, which has not spread outside the prostate, the 5-year relative survival rate is
Testicular cancer and prostate cancer are related in a way because they both affect the groin area. However, they differ in symptoms, risk factors, and diagnosis. Treatment often depends on the cancer’s stage and your overall health. Make sure to consult a doctor if you have concerns.