Health

Here’s How To Check Your Testicles For Cancer And Why You Need To Do It Regularly

You might think testicular cancer is something that happens to men your father’s or grandfather’s age, but the truth is that anyone can get it. Roughly 90% of testicular cancer cases occur in men who are under the age of 54. That’s why it’s so important to check your testicles every month for anything suspicious, such as lumps or swelling. Here are 10 important things you should do when giving yourself a checkup.

  1. Do it in the shower. You might find it easier to check your testicles for any strange symptoms in the shower where the warm water will help to soften your skin while helping to relax your scrotum too. This makes any potential lumps or bumps easier to detect.
  2. Study one testicle at a time. This gives you a chance to take your time and do a thorough check. It also helps to hold your penis out of the way when you do this so that you can give each testicle your full attention. Try to give yourself a testicular check when you’re chilled and don’t have anything to do because if you rush through the process, you could miss something important.
  3. Use your thumb and fingers. When holding one of your testicles, do so gently between your thumb and fingers of both hands. You want to roll the testicle around between your fingers like a tennis ball while you press and prod for anything strange.
  4. Don’t forget to look. Now’s not the time to be looking out the window or watching TV while your fingers do all the work. You need to look at the testicles for any change in size, shape, or consistency. Remember, though, it’s perfectly normal for one testicle to be larger than the other. It’s also normal for one testicle to hang lower than the other, so these things shouldn’t alarm you.
  5. Check for any changes. The key is to note any new things that have happened to your testicles since the last time you felt or looked at them. So, for instance, if one testicle is suddenly swollen or has a different texture that was never there before, these should get your attention. Anything that’s new and different for you is what you should consult with your doctor about.
  6. Feel yourself up. You should feel your testicles for any changes to the skin on them, such as if the skin has become lumpy, as well as for any lumps that are beneath the skin’s surface.
  7. Know what you’re looking for. While you should always check for lumps, don’t limit yourself to that. Lumps aside, testicular cancer tends to show up as pain in the testicle, an increase in testicle size, or just a change in how the testicle feels to you. That’s why it’s so important to check them every month. You’ll quickly learn what’s normal and be able to spot what’s not.
  8. Don’t forget the front. While you’re checking your balls for any lumps, pay special attention to the front of your testicles. In general, you should be on the lookout for any hard lumps that are approximately the size of a pea, although they could be larger. Note that lumps which are linked to testicular cancer are sometimes painless, so if there’s a lump that doesn’t hurt, you should never ignore it!
  9. Note any heaviness. You should check for any heaviness in your scrotum as this can be a sign of testicular cancer. If one or both of your testicles feel firm or hard, this is also something that can signal the disease, which means that it’s time to head to your doctor ASAP. Yes, even if you don’t have any swelling, pain, or lumps because the heaviness is enough of a warning sign that something could be wrong.
  10. That said, try to stay calm. Although it’s important to be proactive about your health and get checked out at the doc, it’s also good to remember that these symptoms don’t always mean that you’ve got cancer. However, if the worst happens and you do have testicular cancer, at least you’ll have nipped it in the bud, which means treatment will be easier and your survival greatly increased. Remember: early detection can save your life!