How to Do a Testicular Self Examination

Testicular Cancer Resource Center

to Do a Testicular Self Examination:

For men over the
age of 14, a monthly self-exam of the testicles is an effective way of
becoming familiar with this area of the body and thus enabling the detection
of testicular cancer at an early — and very curable — stage. Why do you need
to do it monthly? Because the point of the self exam is not to find
something wrong today. The point is to learn what everything feels like when
things are normal, and to check back every month to make sure that nothing has
changed. If something HAS changed, you will know it and you can do something
about it.


The testicular self exam is
best performed after a warm bath or shower.
(Heat relaxes the scrotum, making it easier to spot anything abnormal)

Here is how to do
the self exam:


  • If possible, stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the
    scrotal skin. 
  • Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle
    fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the
    testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers — you shouldn’t feel any
    pain when doing the exam. Don’t be alarmed if one testicle seems slightly
    larger than the other, that’s normal. 
  • 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 a suspicious lump. Cancerous lumps usually are
    found on the sides of the testicle but can also show up on the front.
    Lumps on or attached to the epididymis are not cancerous. 
  • If you find a lump on your testicle or any of the other signs of
    testicular cancer listed below, see a doctor, preferably a urologist,
    right away
    . The abnormality may not be cancer, but if it is testicular
    cancer, it will spread if it is not stopped by treatment. Even if it is
    something else like an infection, you are still going to need to see a
    doctor. Waiting and hoping will not fix anything. Please note that free
    floating lumps in the scrotum that are not attached in any way to a
    testicle are not testicular cancer. When in doubt, get it checked out
    – if only for peace of mind!


Other signs of
testicular cancer to keep in mind are:


  • Any enlargement of a testicle
  • A significant loss of size in one of the testicles
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts


I hesitate to
mention the following list, since anything out of the ordinary down there
should prompt a visit to the doctor, but you should be aware that the
following symptoms are not normally signs of testicular cancer:


  • A pimple, ingrown hair or rash on the scrotal skin
  • A free floating lump in the scrotum, seemingly not attached to anything
  • A lump on the epidiymis or tubes coming from the testicle that kind of
    feels like a third testicle
  • Pain or burning during urination
  • Blood in the urine or semen


Remember, only a physician can make a positive diagnosis ***

For that matter,
only a physician can make a negative diagnosis too. If you think something
feels strange, go see the doctor!

Finally, embarrassment
is a poor excuse for not having any problem examined by a doctor.
If you think there is something wrong or something has changed, please see
your doctor!

information on a number of related topics, please check out these links:





This page was last updated on Mar 16, 2009
Copyright � 1997 – 2009 The
Testicular Cancer Resource Center
, All Rights Reserved

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