When a patient presents with testicular cancer, most commonly, there will be a lump or a mass within the testicle. In some cases, if the mass is large, then it can be visibly seen, or it can be seen within the scrotal area. Because it's a mass involving the testicle, it will just have the appearance of an enlarged testicle, or enlarged side of the scrotum.
Now, the most common presentation will be a firm, rock hard mass, within the testicle. It may involve the entire testicle, or it may involve just a small portion of the testicle. And the presentation can vary. However, if there is a firm, rock hard mass within the testicle, that testicle needs to be evaluated by a physician.
Testicular cancers can have different appearances or different presentations. But in general, almost every patient will have a mass within the testicle. So you're looking for an abnormality within the testicle, but more importantly, you're actually feeling the testicle to feel if there is an area of abnormality within the testicle itself. These can all be indicators of the presence of cancer.
Now, of there is an abnormality in something you feel, and you're not sure what it is, it's always best to get checked out by a physician. Now there can be conditions that effect the testicle that may not be cancerous, there may be benign conditions. You can have fluid around the testicle. You can have cysts that occur within the epididymis. And some patients are concerned that these may represent tumors. But in many cases, we will reassure patients that these are benign conditions. However, if there is something arising from the testicle, there's something firm, if there's a mass there, then it is cancer until proven otherwise.