Back to Top Skip to main content Skip to sub-navigation

Be proactive in looking for early signs of testicular cancer

Military health personnel giving and examination Air Force 2nd Lt. Kylee Bolinder (left), 60th Inpatient Squadron nurse, cleans a power port on Nicholas Pilch, 60th Air Mobility Wing. Pilch underwent chemotherapy for testicular cancer in 2020. It is important for servicemen to do monthly self-exams to screen for early signs of testicular cancer. While rare, testicular cancer is most prevalent among men between the ages of 15-34 (Photo by: Nicholas Pilch, 60th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs).

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Men's Health | April | Sexual Assault Awareness & Prevention Toolkit

Testicular Cancer Week is an important time to remind service members to be proactive in their health.

According to Navy Lt. Cmdr. (Dr.) Dorota Hawksworth, a urologist at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, testicular cancer is very rare, but is most common amongst males between 15 and 34 years of age, the age bracket of many military members.

Testicular cancer is a disease in which malignant cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles. While the diagnosis of cancer can be frightening, testicular cancer can usually be cured.

"Many men have no known risk factors," said Hawksworth, "the known risk factors [for testicular cancer] can't be changed."

These risk factors include a personal history of undescended testicle or prior testicular cancer, family history of testicular cancer, HIV infection, diagnosis of Klinefelter's disease, age, race, and ethnicity, Hawksworth noted. White males develop testicular cancer at a rate four times higher than that of Black males, according to cancer.gov.

Testicular cancer can be detected early through screenings both at home and by a doctor.

"Screening means looking for cancer before person has any symptoms. This process is performed differently, depending on the type of cancer," said Hawksworth.

Testicular cancer however has no standard routine or screening. According to Hawksworth, most testicular cancers are found by a man or his partner, either by chance or by a self-screening.

Self-exams should be performed monthly and in a warm environment such as a bath or shower to allow the scrotum to be more "relaxed," Hawksworth noted. Then each testis should be felt separately, using both hands to ensure that the contour is even and smooth with an egg-like shape with both testes about the same size.

If during a self-exam a patient finds a nodule or hard mass on or around the testicle, a size change, or difference in one or both testes, pain, or if the patient "thinks" he feels something and is unsure, he should seek medical attention urgently.

According to Hawksworth, most tumors present with a painless mass or swelling in one or sometimes both testes. Testicular pain only occurs in about 10% of men with testicular cancer. Men may have systemic, as opposed to localized, pain, "they may complain about breast swelling, back pain, or an abnormal pain or mass," said Hawksworth.

If caught early enough, many testicular cancers can be removed through surgery. According to cancer.gov, testicular cancer has a 95% five-year survival rate.

You also may be interested in...

Stay Mission Ready with the Flu Vaccine

Video
10/13/2021
Stay Mission Ready

FLU SEASON IS HERE, AND THE THREAT OF SERIOUS ILLNESS MAKES IT EVEN MORE IMPORTANT TO GET YOUR FLU VACCINE THIS YEAR.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2021-22

Flu Season: Staying Healthy

Video
10/13/2021
Flu Season

 FLU SEASON IS HERE AND GETTING YOUR FLU VACCINE IS THE BEST WAY TO STOP THE SPREAD.

Recommended Content:

Seasonal Influenza Vaccine Toolkit | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations | Seasonal Influenza Resource Center 2021-22

Back to School Fast Tips

Video
8/11/2021
Back to School Fast Tips

Here are some fast tips for a smooth and safe transition to getting back to school this year.

Recommended Content:

August Toolkit | Back to School | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health

Preventive Health Care for You

Video
8/11/2021
Preventive Heath Care For You

Preventive health care - getting a physical exam, getting vaccines on time, and listening to your body - is key to a long and healthy life.

Recommended Content:

Total Body Preventive Health and Total Force Fitness | Total Body Preventive Health - Dental, Medical & Mental | August Toolkit | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness

Total Force Fitness Reintroduction

Video
2/17/2021
DHA Seal

The Military Health System is reintroducing Total Force Fitness. The Total Force Fitness concept focuses on a service member’s entire health throughout their career, connecting eight dimensions of fitness to optimize health, performance, and readiness holistically.

Recommended Content:

Physical Fitness | Environmental Fitness | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Nutritional Fitness | Spiritual Fitness | Psychological Fitness | Social Fitness | Financial Fitness | Health Tools

Measles Myths: The Measles Can Be Life-Threatening

Video
9/30/2019
Measles Myths: The Measles Can Be Life-Threatening

Measles can be life-threatening, especially for children and among people who have a compromised immune system.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Measles-Mumps-Rubella

Measles Myths: Hand Washing Alone Won't Prevent Measles

Video
9/23/2019
Measles Myths: Hand Washing Alone Won't Prevent Measles

Hand washing alone will not prevent the spread of measles. Dr. Margaret Ryan, preventive medicine physician, debunks some myths about vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Measles-Mumps-Rubella

Measles Myths: Vaccines Are Safe

Video
9/17/2019
Measles Myths: Vaccines Are Safe

Vaccine components have been rigorously tested for safety. Dr. Margaret Ryan, preventive medicine physician, debunks some myths about vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Measles-Mumps-Rubella

Measles Myths: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Video
9/12/2019
Measles Myths: Vaccines Do Not Cause Autism

Vaccines that prevent measles do not cause autism. Dr. Margaret Ryan, preventive medicine physician, debunks some myths about vaccinations.

Recommended Content:

Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Children's Health | Immunizations | Immunization Healthcare | Vaccine-Preventable Diseases | Measles-Mumps-Rubella

Prevent to Protect: Analia

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Analia

Cancer left 5-year-old Analia Pages unable to get vaccinated. Her father, Master Sgt. Edward Pages, has to take extra steps to protect her from diseases she’s susceptible to.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Rosarios

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Rosarios

10-year-old Tatiana Rosario has a weakened immune system as a result of her cancer treatment. Growing up, she and her family made sacrifices to keep her safe from disease.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Immunization Awareness

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Immunization Awareness

Getting vaccinated not only protects yourself and your family from deadly diseases, but it also saves the lives to those who don’t have the immune system to fend for themselves. The Military Health System shares the stories of families with children who are at risk when others aren’t immunized.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations

Prevent to Protect: Barbara and Floriann

Video
8/30/2019
Prevent to Protect: Barbara and Floriann

Barbara’s son Floriann grew up with an immune dysregulation. A Uniformed Services University pathology professor, she’s experienced first hand the importance of vaccines.

Recommended Content:

Immunization Healthcare | Medical and Dental Preventive Care Fitness | Immunizations
Showing results 1 - 13 Page 1 of 1

DHA Address: 7700 Arlington Boulevard | Suite 5101 | Falls Church, VA | 22042-5101

Some documents are presented in Portable Document Format (PDF). A PDF reader is required for viewing. Download a PDF Reader or learn more about PDFs.