Apple A Day

21st Century Oncology Blog

Apple A Day

21st Century Oncology Blog

Testicular Cancer Self-Exam

April 25, 2016

cancer patient

An estimated 8,700 cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed this year. The average age of diagnosis is 33, but it may be diagnosed in children, teenagers and men over the age of 55.

Testicular cancers can be found at an early stage if men recognize symptoms and seek medical attention. Unfortunately, the symptoms often go unnoticed until after the cancer has spread. Urologists recommend that men perform monthly self-examinations after puberty.

It’s important for males to be familiar with testicular self-examinations. By performing self-exams regularly, you will become familiar with what is normal and what is abnormal. An abnormal exam may present when one testicle changes in size relative to the other one, or a new lump or hard (nodule) mass is felt.

How to do the Testicular Self Exam

  1. Hold your penis out of the way and check each testicle one at a time.
  2. Hold the testicle between your thumb and fingers of both hands and roll it gently between fingers.
  3. Look and feel for any hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps or any change in the size, shape or consistency of the testicles.

If you find anything alerting or unusual, schedule an appointment with your urologist or primary care physician. 

Symptoms of testicular cancer may include: a painless lump or swelling, pain with or without swelling, breast tenderness or growth, a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin, or a change in the size of the scrotum. Please note that there are other causes for these testicular symptoms that are not cancer related.

Some risk factors associated with testicular cancer are:

  • Undescended testicle
  • Previous testicular cancer
  • Family history of testicular cancer

During a physical exam, a urologist will examine your testicles for tenderness, swelling, or any lumps. They may also examine other nearby parts of the body for any other abnormal signs. In addition, your urologist may perform other diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound to look at the scrotum and testicles.  Quick and painless tests can help detect cancer or other issues before they become worse.

Click here to find out more about testicular cancer or click here to find a urologist near you.