How to Check for Testicular Cancer
Every man should know how to check for testicular cancer since early detection greatly increases your chances of surviving the disease. Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men aged 15 to 34, and treatment usually involves a combination of chemotherapy and surgically removing the diseased testicle. However, if you and your doctor don't detect testicular cancer before it spreads, your chances of survival grow slim. Perform self-exams to protect yourself from testicular cancer.
- Do your exam in the shower or bath. Not only does this give you privacy, but it loosens the skin on your testicles to make checking for testicular cancer easier.
- Know what to look for. The most common sign of testicular cancer is a painless, hardened lump on the testicle. You may feel a dull pain in your scrotum and your scrotum may swell.
- Check for any changes in your scrotum by cupping your entire scrotum in one hand. One you've performed the testicular cancer self-exam a few times, you'll know how your testicles normally feel and will be sensitive to any changes. Each one should be like a smooth, firm, round golf ball, though it's perfectly normal for one testicle to be larger than the other. Check your scrotum for signs of swelling or tenderness.
- Check each testicle for cancer separately. Give each one your undivided attention. Carefully move each testicle between your thumb and fingers to check for any lumps. Remember to check all sides of both testicles.
- Check yourself for testicular cancer regularly, at least once a month. If you notice any changes, see your doctor right away.