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Testicular Self-Examination

High-Risk Alert

How to Do a Self-Examination

Information from the Men's Health Network



Testicular cancer most commonly occurs in men ages 15 to 34 and is one of the most common tumors seen in men under 40. If detected and treated in its early stages, testicular cancer is nearly 100% curable. But too often the cancerous lumps are not discovered until the tumor is in an advanced stage. A monthly testicular self-exam can help detect lumps early in their most treatable stages.

The cause of testicular cancer is unknown, but it most often occurs in the testesí sperm-producing cells. Early symptoms include swelling or pain in the testicle and sometimes pain or discomfort.

High Risk Alert

  • Are you a white male between the ages of 15 and 40? White men have four times the risk of blacks of developing testicular cancer.
  • Do you have undescended or late-descended testes? Men whose testicles are undescended or descended late are at higher risk.
  • Do you have a family history of testicular cancer?
  • Have you ever been diagnosed with inguinal hernia? Doctors have found a positive correlation between hernia and testicular cancer at an early age, but the link is still under study.

If you answered "yes" to any or all of these questions, you are at increased risk for developing testicular cancer. Pay special attention to testicular self-examination.

How to Do a Testicular Self-Examination

Any male 15 or older should practice monthly testicular self-exam. The test takes only a few ntinutes and is easy to do. Most lumps are not cancer, but any lump should be immediately checked by a physician.

The best time to check yourself the shower or after a warm bath. Fingers glide over soapy skin making it easier to concentrate on the texture underneath. The heat causes the skin to relax making the exam easier.

  1. Support the testicles in one hand and feel each with the other hand.
  2. Gently roll each testicle between the thumb and the fingers. You'll feel a smooth, tubular structure (epididymis) that covers the front. back. and bottom of each testicle. Gently separate this tube from the testicle with your finger to examine the testicle itself.
  3. Feel for any swelling or lumps.
  4. If you detect swelling or lumps, see a physician without delay.

Editorís Note: This information provided by the Menís Health Network. They support us with this information. Please consider supporting them. P.O. Box 770, Washington, D.C. 20044, (202) 543-6461.


Related Article:


Testicular Cancer: Survival High with Early Treatment
Information on testicular cancer, testicular examination. An article from FDA Consumer magazine.


Related Web site:


Testicular Cancer Resource Center TC Primer, TC Self-examination, detailed interview with a TC oncologist, info on treatment approaches, over 40 personal stories, faith and spirituality, individual e-mail support, TC and sex, the humorous side and a lot more, by a survivor who put it together when he couldn't find in one place the info he needed.


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