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Men! Have you checked your testicles for cancer lately?

by , 17 October 2013

Testicular cancer is rare. Only about 1,800 new cases are diagnosed each year. But it's the most common type of cancer in men between 18 and 35. And it can kill within weeks of developing. Luckily, 90% of cases can be treated if caught early. And spotting it is dead easy…

Just like everyone should do a breast exam every month to protect yourself from breast cancer.

To stay safe, you should check your testicles for unusual lumps, bumps or swelling once every month. The best place to do this is in the bath or shower, as the water will soften the skin of your sac, making it easier to feel the testicles inside.

Here’s what to do…

Use these five steps to check for testicular cancer

  1. Cradle the whole sac and testicles in the palm of your hand.
  2. Feel the difference between the testicles. One is almost always larger and hangs lower. This is completely normal.
  3. Now examine each testicle in turn and compare them with each other.
  4. Use both hands to gently roll each testicle between your thumb and forefinger. Don’t squeeze.
  5. Then put your fingers behind the left side and your thumb in front and start feeling the skin on the front and side, where the cancer is most likely to be found. The back and top of the scrotum is likely to feel very irregular. This is normal.

What changes to your testicles should you worry about?

While one symptom of cancer is finding a lump in the testicles, about the size of a pea, other symptoms include:

  • A testicle growing or shrinking in size
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum
  • A more uncommon symptom is enlargement or tenderness in the breast area.

That’s why testicular cancer checks are so important. Do them regularly – around once a month – and you’ll soon know what’s normal for your body. Once you know that, spotting a change or abnormality will be easy. And it could save your life too. 

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