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Date of last update: 10/21/2017.

Forum Name: Testicular Cancer

Question: Possible Testicular & Lung Cancer, Insurance Issues

 pod123 - Sun Oct 28, 2007 9:28 am

Hi, I'm 21 and male. I don't know if I have family history of cancer since I don't know my dad. The only surgeries I've had are to get my tonsils and adenoids removed when I was six. I'm not on any medication. Now that I have that out of the way, here is my problem. A year and a half ago I was taking a bath and I noticed I had a mass inside of my scrotum. It's on the left testicle, and has a strange rubbery consistency to it. I was scared and wanted to go to the doctor, but I was living on my own and barely had enough money for food, not to mention that I had no insurance. It didn't have any pain in it, so I just put it out of my mind for a long time. Over the past year and a half, the entire tube (vas deferens I think) has become thicker and rubbery. The rubbery mass is right above the testicle, I don't think it's actually on it. A couple of months ago it started to ache, and since then the aching has been getting steadily worse. I examined my left testicle and compared it to my right one and I'm pretty sure the tube on the left one is thicker and kind of numb. It just doesn't feel the same way the other one does. I also examined my left testicle and I think that the rubbery mass is acutally the epididymis. It hurts when I touch it now, and I think it's harder than the epididymis on my right testicle, but I'm not sure because it hurts when I touch it. On top of all this, five days ago I started coughing for no reason. Ever since then I've been coughing every couple of minutes. I don't feel sick at all and I don't even want to cough, but it's just happening constantly. I looked up the symptoms for lung cancer and the first one that was on the list was 'having a cough most of the time'. Then two days ago I decided to go for a run in the park. I made up my mind to run four complete laps around the park. After I ran the first lap I was completely out of breath and had to sit down for a few minutes. Just so you know, I am 6'3" and weigh 180 pounds and I have never in my life had any problems running. I just don't run out of breath like that. After running the second lap I had to take an even longer break and I was gasping for air. Same with the third lap, and after running the fourth I felt a pain in my kidney and had to sit down for a while before even walking home. I'm worried that I might have testicular cancer and that it spread through my body and into my lungs. I don't have any pain in my lungs or any other symptoms other than the constant coughing. Also, I don't have a job now and I am living with a relative, and I don't have insurance. I really want to get this checked out but I don't know what to do. I looked up the medical costs for testicular cancer and one patient said the total cost for him so far was $175,000. That would ruin my life. But having cancer would kill me. Please help, thanks in advance.
 Dr. Chan Lowe - Thu Nov 08, 2007 7:59 pm

User avatar Hi Pod123,

I suspect that you most likely have 2 separate issues going on, one in the lungs and one in the testes.

The mass you are describing in the testes is very consistent with the epididymis. It can become inflamed due to infection or trauma and can cause some pain and swelling. If this pain does not improve it is best to see a doctor. If STD's are possible I would recommend you be tested since many of these can cause infection of the epididymis. Cancer is likely quite low on the list of things to be causing this.

The cough may be due to an infection.

An infection that may tie the two things together is a bacteria called mycoplasma pneumonia. This infection is commonly known as a "walking pneumonia" because it tends to cause a cough and cold-like symptoms but often is not severe enough to cause someone to be admitted to the hospital. It can also cause inflammation of the epididymus.

I would recommend you see a doctor for an evaluation. There are often clinics that can see patients on a free or reduced fee basis based on income. Your local health department can help locate these clinics if needed.

Best wishes.
 pod123 - Fri Nov 09, 2007 1:24 pm

Thanks for taking the time to answer my question, I appreciate it. I'm going to look into the lower income options for health care now that I am aware of them.

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