“I was just 26, fit and very active when I discovered I had a lump on one of my testicles. I went to the doctor and tests quickly showed that it was indeed cancer. It was caught early because I took action immediately.” – Ben Bowers
Young men are more likely to get testicular cancer than any other cancer and rates have doubled in the past 50 years. Unfortunately, most men, 70.6% to be exact, never or rarely perform a self-examination. A regular examination of the testicles is important for young men, especially those at risk for testicular cancer. Being familiar with the size, shape, and usual level of lumpiness can help you determine when something isn’t right. A testicular self-examination can help you to identify changes in your testicles early so that you can seek proper medical treatment if it is needed.
To check for problems, follow this handy step-by-step guide on how to conduct a testicular cancer self-examination.
Take a Shower
The warm water and steamy environment will make your testicles hang lower thus making the examination easier.
Examine the Testicles
Gently roll the right testicle between your thumb and fingers to feel for any lumps or swelling in or on the surface of the testicle. The testicle should feel firm and the surface should feel smooth. Repeat this process with the left testicle. It is normal for one testicle to be slightly bigger than the other, and the left testicle often hangs lower than the right one. Most lumps and bumps on your testicles are not cancer, but if they don’t feel right, go see a doctor.
Check the Epididymis
The epididymis is a soft, coiled tube at the back of the testicles that carries sperm to the vas deferens. Using the thumb and fingers, check for any swelling in this area.
Even if you have had testicular cancer or are being treated for the disease, it is still important to conduct an examination. About 1 in 25 men who have had testicular cancer may develop cancer in the other testicle. This simple self-examination can save your life.