Testicular Self Examination

Testicular Cancer Self Examination

What Exactly Is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer is basically a tumor that develops in one or both testicles in the male reproductive system. There are two major types of testicular cancer, seminoma and nonseminoma. It is most common among young and older men aged 15-39 years old. Testicular cancer is infectious like most diseases, but the major causes are previous occurrences in the family history, undescended testicles and having had the tumor in the past. Fortunately, testicular cancer has the highest cure rate, regardless of when it is detected. If the external of the testes is not affected, the 5-year survival rate is 99%!

Self Examination for Testicular Cancer

Having understood what testicular cancer is, when, how and why self examination should be performed is extremely vital. Self examination for testicular cancer is a short and simple process, which can be performed by oneself or their partner. The first major step is to understand one’s scrotal area properly, to be able to detect any changes as soon as they appear. Health experts recommend that testicular cancer self examination be done on monthly basis. The process should be performed during or immediately after a warm bath. This ensures that the scrotum is warm and relaxed for the exercise.

To perform testicular cancer self examination, you should stand in front of a mirror for a clear view. Place both the index and middle fingers under one of the testes, and the thumb directly on top. Firmly, gently and slowly roll the three fingers around the testis while feeling for any lumps, swellings or pain. When you are done rolling around the whole testis, carefully locate the epididymis, which should be a rope-like tubular structure at the back of the testis. This is the duct that links the testicles to the urethra. Feel for any lumps, swellings or pain here as well. Repeat the procedure on the other testis.

Testicular Cancer Self Examination Results

For your testicular cancer self examination results to be normal, both testicles should feel firm, but not too hard. The epididymis area should feel the same. If you feel a pea-sized lump, you should be alarmed. This is usually the very first sign of testicular cancer, and you should see your doctor immediately. Both testicles should also be of normal size. Any slight enlargement should be noted. In rare cases, you might not find one of the testicles. This condition is caused by the testicles not properly descending in the scrotum, and you should definitely call/see your doctor. Pain may be an indication of an infection, and a doctor should be consulted for further instructions.

After The Testicular Cancer Self Examination

It is important to note that some testicular cancer cases don’t start to show symptoms until in later stages. This is why a monthly testicular cancer self examination is recommended for all males between 15-39 years old. It is advisable to talk to your doctor if you have any questions on testicular cancer.