Self-Exam Of The Testicles

Young men ages 15-35 are the ones who most commonly get cancer of the testicles. About 300 young men die of this disease each year. Testicular cancer does occur in middle-aged or older men but to a lesser extent. This cancer can almost always be cured if it is found before it gets bad and if it is treated.

WORDS TO KNOW:

  • Testicles are the 2 egg-shaped glands that make hormones and sperm in men.

  • The s crotum is the skin around testicles.

  • Epididymis is the rope-like part that is behind and above each testis. It collects sperm made by the testis.

WHICH MEN ARE AT HIGH RISK FOR CANCER OF THE TESTICLES?

  • Men between ages 15 to 31.

  • Men who are Caucasian.

  • Men who were born with a testicle that had not moved down into the scrotum.

  • Men whose testicles have gotten smaller because of an infection.

  • Men whose fathers or brothers have had cancer of the testicles.

SYMPTOMS OF TESTICULAR CANCER

  • A painless swelling in one of your testicles.

  • A hard lump. Some lumps may be an infection.

  • A heavy feeling in your testicles.

  • An ache in your lower belly (abdomen) or groin.

HOW OFTEN SHOULD I CHECK MY TESTICLES?

You should check your testicles every month.

HOW SHOULD I DO THIS CHECK?

It is best to check your testicles right after a warm shower or bath.

Look at your testicles for any swelling. You may need to use a mirror.

Use both your hands to roll each testicle between your thumb and fingers. Feel for any lumps or changes in the size of the testicle. Press firmly. You may find that one testicle is a little bigger than the other. This is normal.

Next, check the epididymis on each testicle. This is the part where most testicular cancers happen. It is normal for the epididymis to feel soft and uneven. When you get used to how your epididymis feels, you will be able to tell if there is any change.

WHAT IF I FIND ANY SWELLINGS OR LUMPS?

Call your doctor. Some lumps may be an infection. If the lump or swelling is a cancer, it can be treated before it gets worse.