Testicular cancer symptoms you should never ignore – including back pain

Borussia Dortmund striker Sébastien Haller has pulled out of his new club's pre-season training camp in Switzerland after a testicular tumour was found.

According to an official statement, the 28-year-old footballer complained of feeling unwell during training on Monday, July 18 and found to have a tumour during a medical examination.

The club's sporting director, Sebastian Kehl, said: "This news today came as a shock to Sebastien Haller and everyone else. The entire BVB family hopes that Sébastien makes a full recovery as soon as possible and that we can give him a hug again soon. We’ll do everything in our power to ensure that he receives the best possible treatment."

Though tumours can be benign, and doesn't always to lead to cancer diagnosis, Haller has returned to Germany to undergo further tests.

Here's what you need to know about the early signs of testicular cancer.

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer occurs in the testicles (testes) – which produces male sex hormones and sperm for reproduction – located inside the scrotum, a loose bag of skin underneath the penis.

Commonly found in men aged between 15 and 35, testicular cancer is highly treatable, even when the cancer has spread beyond the testicles.

The cancer usually affects only one testicle. Depending on the type and stage of testicular cancer, you will receive one of several treatments, or sometimes a combination of treatments.

Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer

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The most common symptoms of testicular cancer are:

  • Lump or enlargement in either testicle
  • Feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Dull pain in the abdomen or groin
  • Sudden fluid collection in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
  • Difference in appearance between one testicle and the other

  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
  • Back pain

Typically, the symptoms of testicular cancer are painless swelling or lumps – which are about the size of a pea – or changes in the shape, texture or increased firmness of a testicle.

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Any swelling or lumps in the scrotum – not the testicle – usually aren't a sign of cancer.

If testicular cancer spreads to other parts of the body, some symptoms that men may experience include:

  • Lower back pain from cancer spreading to lymph nodes
  • Shortness of breath, chest pain or cough from it spread to the lungs
  • Belly ache from either enlarged lymph nodes or cancer spreading to liver
  • Headaches or confusion due to cancer spreading to brain

When to consult a doctor about symptoms?

Consult your GP if you notice swelling, lump or any other change in one of your testicles, especially if the signs and symptoms last longer than two weeks.

It's always best to consult a doctor as soon as you possibly can because the sooner treatment begins, the better likelihood of being completely cured.

If you suspect you have testicular cancer, check the NHS website for more information on the condition.

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