Do you know how to perform a Testicular Self Exam? If you don’t here is a quick guide:
Testicular self examination (TSE)Testicular cancer is usually curable. It’s also easier to treat when it’s found early.
From puberty onwards it’s important that men check their testicles regularly (once a month) for anything unusual like a lump or swelling. When you do this you’ll soon get to know what feels normal for you.
The best time to check your testicles is during or right after a warm bath or shower, when the scrotal skin is relaxed. Hold your scrotum in the palm of your hand and use your fingers and thumb to examine each testicle. Feel for lumps, anything unusual, or differences between your testicles. It’s normal for the testicles to be slightly different in size and for one to hang lower than the other.
Testicular self examinationA normal testicle should feel smooth and firm (not hard). The epididymis (tube that carries sperm) lies at the top of the back part of each testicle. It feels like a soft coiled tube. It’s not uncommon to get harmless cysts or benign lumps in the epididymis.
What to do if you notice a lump or something differentLumps or swellings can be caused by other conditions, and most lumps aren’t cancer. But it’s very important that you have anything unusual checked by your doctor as soon as possible. Doctors are used to dealing with problems like this on a regular basis. Remember that testicular cancer is nearly always curable, particularly when it’s found and treated early.
Symptoms of testicular cancerThe most common symptom is a lump in a testicle. But there may also be other symptoms depending on whether the cancer has spread outside the testicle.
Symptoms can include:
- swelling or a lump in a testicle, which is usually painless – occasionally the swelling may suddenly increase in size and become painful
- pain or heaviness in the scrotum.
- pain in the back, groin, or lower abdomen – this can be caused by the spread of the cancer to lymph nodes in the back of the abdomen
- a cough or breathlessness if lymph nodes in the chest area are affected, or rarely if the cancer has spread to the lungs
- nipple/breast tenderness or breast swelling (gynaecomastia) – this isn’t common but can be caused by hormones produced by the cancer.
Go to the second part of the post to see the naked celebrities used by Checkum in their testicular cancer awareness campaign.