Health-Related Issues -- Testicular Self Exam

Testicular cancer is one of the most common types of cancer in men from age 20-35. Examining the testicles can help detect cancer in the early stages when it is highly curable. Often there are no early symptoms of testicular cancer. The testicular exam should begin at age 15 and continue until 40. It is important to do testicular exams every month in order to detect any abnormalities. Testicular cancer is very curable in the early stages. The best time to do a testicular exam is after bathing when heat causes the skin of the scrotum to relax.

How to do a testicular self exam:

  • Examine the scrotum visually for swelling.
  • Examine each testicle separately by rolling the testicle between your thumb and the first two fingers of both hands. It is normal for one testicle to be larger than the other.
  • Check for lumps, swelling, or a change in size or consistency of the testicle.
  • Feel the epididymis, a cord-like structure, on the top and back of each testicle. Don't interpret this as a abnormality.

** Contact your physician if any lumps or other abnormalities are found. Also, have your physician evaluate aching in the lower abdomen or groin, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, which may be a warning sign of cancer.

For more information go to Testicular Cancer Resource Center.