Free Self Exam Program
In concert with April's Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, the Testicular Cancer Society is excited to announce the launching of their free self testicular exam program. Through collaboration and participation by local providers this national program is an essential step in the early detection of testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer is the leading cause of cancer in men age 15-35, although it can occur at any age. Testicular cancer is also one of the most treatable cancers, especially if caught early. If caught at an early stage, before it has spread, the survival rate is almost 100% but if caught at a late stage the rate drops to 80%.
Monthly testicular self exams are important to notice changes in one’s testicles. By doing the monthly testicular self exams one should become familiar with their testicles thus making it easier to notice any changes. Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves or their partner, very few are found by a physician. This is why it is so important to be familiar with what is normal and if one does notice any changes then they should see a doctor immediately.
It is best to do the testicular self exam during or right after a warm shower or bath. The warmth relaxes the scrotum making the exam easier. Don't be alarmed if one testicle seems slightly larger than the other, that's normal. It is also normal that one testicle will hang lower than the other.
3 Steps to the Testicular Self Exam
The exam should begin, if possible, by standing in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotal skin.
Each testicle should be examined with with both hands. One testicle at a time, the index and middle fingers are placed under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Firmly but gently the testicle is rolled between the thumbs and fingers to feel for any irregularities on the surface or texture of the testicle.
The epididymis, a soft rope-like structure on the back of the testicle is a normal structure and should not be mistaken for a suspicious lump.
See a Doctor Immediately:
If any testicular lumps, bumps or irregularities are noticed then one should see a doctor right away. Please keep in mind that not all lumps or irregularities are cancerous, however, only a doctor can make that determination. Waiting to see if it will go away will not help.
There are guys that can have testicular cancer but no iregularities are noticed any in their testicle(s). That is why it is important to also know the other signs and symptoms of testicular cancer and contact a doctor if one is experiencing any of them.