FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – April is testicular cancer awareness month, and BC Cancer is encouraging men of all ages to educate themselves and be proactive about their health.

According to the organization, one in 217 males is expected to develop testicular cancer during their lifetime, and one in 4897 males is expected to die of testicular cancer.

In 2021, it was estimated that ten people between the ages of 20 and 39 in Northern B.C. would be diagnosed with testicular cancer.

While the disease isn’t common, the organization says it is the most common cancer found in young men.

BC Cancer says there is currently no screening program for testicular cancer but recommends that people in their teens, 20s, and 30s perform regular self-examinations (TSEs) once per month.

“Those who don’t know how to do a TSE, please talk to your family doctor or nurse practitioner,” their website reads.

The organization says that self-exams are even more critical for those with a history of an undescended testicle, a close family member who had testicular cancer, or previous cancer in the other testicle.

While there are sometimes no early symptoms of the disease, signs and symptoms include:

  • An enlarged testicle (larger than is normal). This is the most common sign.
  • A painless lump in your testicle.
  • A dull ache in your groin, abdomen or back.
  • A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum.
  • A build-up of fluid or swelling in your scrotum.
  • Shortness of breath. (BC Cancer says this is not common but might mean the cancer has spread to your lungs.)
  • Hormonal imbalance that causes breast enlargement.

The organization says that tests that can help diagnose testicular cancer include a physical exam performed by a nurse or doctor, blood tests, ultrasounds, or biopsies.

To learn more, visit the BC Cancer Website here.

Spencer Hall is a news reporter for energeticcity.ca and a recent graduate of the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Radio Arts & Entertainment program. Growing up in Northwest B.C. made Spencer aware of the importance of local journalism, independent media, and reconciliation. In his spare time, you can find Spencer reading, playing video games, or at the FSJ dog park with his dog, Teddy.