There are doctors that recommend all men examine their testicles monthly after puberty, but because testicular self-exams have not been studied enough to know if they reduce the death rates from testicular cancer, no clear guidelines exist on whether or not they should be recommended to everyone.
Each man has to decide for himself if he wants to examine himself. This might be more important if you have any of the risk factors listed above. Seek medical attention immediately if you do find a lump. Your doctor will advise as appropriate.
Testicular cancer is comparatively rare when putting side by side with other cancers, but testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 35.
How to Perform Testicular Self-exam
Step 1: Clean up, Warm-up
The testicles are easiest to examine when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed. The skin is usually relaxed when you are relaxed, or after a warm shower or bath.
Step 2: Roll it Gently between Your Fingers
You can examine yourself lying down or standing up. Most doctors will examine your standing up.
Hold your penis away. Hold your testicle one at a time between your thumb and fingers. Roll it gently between your fingers.
Step 3: Feel for any Lumps, Bumps or Fluid
Check for any lumps, bumps or unusual features. If you do examine your testicles regularly, you will eventually know what is normal for you and what is different.
Step 4: Feel for any change in the Size, Shape, or Consistency
Feel for any change in the size, shape, or consistency of your testicles. Seek medical attention if you notice any difference.
What is normal
- One testis may be slightly larger than the other
- One side may hang lower than the other
- Part of the testicle is known as the epididymis where sperm are stored. This may be felt as a bump at the posterior upper or posterior middle aspect of the testicles
- Above the testicles you may feel a cord-like structure – this is the spermatic cord where sperm is carried.
What is abnormal
- Abnormally large testes compared to the other side
- A hard lump
- Fluid around the testicle
- Dilated veins above the testicles which may feel like worms
- Tender lumps
Not all the above abnormalities are related to cancer. But if you do find such abnormalities, please visit your doctor for a consultation. One of the easiest ways to characterize a lump is with an ultrasound, which is completely painless.
Happy Movember everyone!
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