Monthly Testicular Self-Exams
Self-examination of the testes is important for early detection of testicular cancer. The most common method of early detection is performing a monthly exam. Since TC is usually isolated to a single testicle, comparison of your testicle with the other can be helpful. It is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other. Your focus should be noticing any changes from the previous month.
Upon reaching puberty, all men should conduct a monthly testicular self-exam and ask your doctor during your yearly physical to perform one as well.
How to Self-exam:
- The best time to self-exam is after a warm bath or shower when the scrotal skin is relaxed.
- Examine each testicle gently with both hands by rolling the testicle between the thumb a forefingers.
- Find the epididymis, the soft tube-like structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. If you are familiar with this structure, you won't mistake it for an abnormal mass.
- Look for any lumps or irregularities. Remember that lumps or bumps may also present themselves as painless.
- Look for any changes in size, shape, or texture. Remember it's normal for one testicle to be slightly larger.
If you notice a lump or any changes as mentioned above, you should seek medical advise and schedule an appointment immediately. Remember testicular cancer can spread very quickly and if detected early is one of the most curable cancers.