A testicular self examination is the best way to detect early signs of testicular cancer. The risk of complications due to testicular cancer can be greatly reduced by early detection of any abnormalities.
Why should I do it?
From age 15, men are susceptible to testicular cancer, and the risk increases with age. Self examining is a very good way not only to get to know your body, but also to detect testicular cancer at a very early, and more importantly, very curable stage.
How should I do it?
Once a month, do the following:
- In front of a mirror, check for any swelling in the scrotal area.
- Using both hands, check each testicle for lumps. Roll the testicle between the thumb and fingers. DO NOT SQUEEZE! The exam should be painless.
- Find and become familiar with the epididymis, the soft, tube-like structure located on the backside of each testicle. Lumps found on the epididymis are normal, not harmful.
- Things to look for during the exam:
- Major loss in size of one or both testes
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotal area
- Soreness in the groin or lower abdomen area
- Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum
- Cancerous lumps tend to appear on the sides of either or both testicles. They can also appear on the front.
- See a doctor, preferably an urologist, if you find any lumps. The earlier a lump is found, the better the chance for a successful treatment. If you wait, the cancer can spread which can lead to several serious, even life threatening, complications.
- If you are concerned in ANY way, have a healthcare provider check it out.
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