Testicular cancer is something that many men are afraid of, and rightly so with it being the most common form of cancer in men between 15 and 35. If caught early however, most cases can be treated successfully, and as such a bit of healthy concern is actually a good thing if it means that you regularly check your testicles for signs of cancer. Here we will look at how to check your testicles and what to make of the results. This way you might also be able to identify other potential problems.
Checking Your Testicles
• The best time to check your testicles is during a hot bath or a shower. The reason for this is that it can help to soften the skin around the scrotum thus making it easier to feel your testicles.
• Generally you are looking for lumps on the testicles themselves, so take each one between your thumb and forefinger and gently roll them in your hand feeling for abnormal lumps. Each testicle should be smooth apart from at the back where the duct carries the sperm to the penis.
• However you should also look out for lumps on the outside of the scrotum on the skin.
• Cup each testicle in one hand and feel for differences. Bear in mind that it is perfectly normal for one testicle to be larger than the other. If one feels much firmer than the other however then this might also be an indication of a problem. You should also look out for changes in size between your testicles. While one testicle should be bigger than the other, if one grows or changes in size then this is a warning sign. This is one reason that it is important to check your testicles regularly – so that you have a basis for comparison and so that you know the sizes of your testicles normally.
• If you find something that feels like a ‘sack of worms’ inside the scrotum (this will be easier to spot when you are standing up), then this might be a ‘varicole’ which is swelling and tangling in the veins that come up from the testicles much like varicose veins. Normally this will not be a serious problem and is relatively common – around 15% of healthy men between 15 and 25 have a varicole, however some studies have linked it to fertility problems.
• Do not be too alarmed should you find a lump on your testicles. While you should certainly seek medical advice, it is more likely to be a sign of another less serious condition. See a doctor as a precaution, but do not be unduly alarmed.
Lumps and swelling are not the only signs of cancer to look out for. Without checking your testicles by feeling them for lumps you might find other signs to look out for that can indicate the existence of cancer or another problem.
• A strong shooting pain that comes on suddenly in the testicles might be a sign that the tubing has become twisting. You should seek medical attention immediately if this is the case.
• As a rule testicular cancer is not painful, but on occasions you may feel a dull ache in the testicles or in the lower abdomen.
• Discharge or pus coming from the penis.
• Blood in the urine or ejaculation.
• Fluid inside the scrotum.
• The feeling of extra ‘weight’ in the scrotum.