Don’t be alarmed by the number of moustaches that sprout up in November.
This month has been re-named as Movember by those aiming to raise awareness of testicular cancer and as part of their fundraising efforts, many men will be letting their facial hair grow a little longer than usual.
Around 2,100 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed every year in the UK – but do you know how to spot the signs and what you should do next?
The most common symptom of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling in one of your testicles. Testicular lumps are most commonly found on the front or the side of the testicle. They often feel like a hard, pea-sized swelling.
Never ignore a lump or a swelling and visit your GP as soon as you notice it.
As well as a lump or swelling, testicular cancer can also cause other symptoms including: a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go; a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum; a dull ache in your lower abdomen (stomach area); a sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum; fatigue; and a general feeling of being unwell. Your GP will examine your testicles to help determine whether or not the lump is cancerous.
Most testicular lumps are not a sign of cancer. For example, varicoceles (swollen blood vessels) are a common cause of testicular lumps.
Research has shown that less than 4 per cent of testicular lumps are cancerous. In the unlikely event that you do have testicular cancer, the sooner treatment begins, the greater the likelihood that you will be completely cured.
If you don’t feel comfortable visiting a GP, go to a local sexual health clinic. Locate a local clinic by visiting the Family Planning Association website at fpa.org.uk
To find out more about movember log on to uk.movember.com.