Testicular cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer in men 18-35, and if caught early is very treatable. Preforming monthly TSEs is a good way to notice any signs or symptoms of cancer early on. Some risk factors are family history, undescended testicle, occupational risk, and injury to the testicles. The test should be done each month in a warm bath or shower, and should only take a few minutes. Doing a self-exam monthly allows you to get familiar with the size and shape of your testicles so you are able to notice any changes more easily
What to do
- Examine each testicle separately
- Using both hands, put your thumbs on top of the testicles and fingers under and behind the testicles
- Gently slide or roll the skin of the scrotum across the testicle. Do not rub.
- Examine the entire area of the testicle. The surface should feel smooth, without lumps or tenderness.
- Feel the side of the testicle closest to the body for the epididymis. The epididymis is a comma-shaped, cord-like tube that stores and transports sperm. Don't mistake the "lump" of the epididymis for an abnormal lump. Cancerous lumps are more commonly found at the front of the testicle. If you're not sure if you have felt the epididymis or a lump, make an appointment at Health Services or another medical provider. You can always request a medical provider by name or gender.
What to Look for
- Small, hard, non-tender lumps
- Enlarged testicle, or feeling of heaviness
- Change in feeling or consistency of the testicle
- Dull ache in lower abdomen or groin
If You Find a Lump
A lump is not always cancerous, but it is important to get checked if you do notice any lumps, changes, or abnormalities. Some other causes of lumps and abnormalities may be infections or testicular torsion (the testicle is rotated inside the scrotum), which also need to be addressed. When detected early and treated, testicular cancer is 95% treatable, but it can spread quickly so early action is key.