Why It’s Important
Performing regular self checks will ensure that issues such as testicular lumps are detected as soon as possible. Testicular lumps and other symptoms can be a sign of a serious condition such as cancer so it is important to seek help right away. The doctor may be able to reassure you that there is nothing wrong or to provide treatment to solve the problem. The earlier you seek help, the easier it will be to treat.
Checking Yourself for Testicular Cancer
You should perform a self check once a month so that you become familiar with the way your body looks and feels. The best time to do it is after a warm bath or shower as the skin or your scrotum will be relaxed and easier to examine. Make sure that you have some time to yourself in a private space where you will feel comfortable.
For each testicle you should:
- Gently grip the top of the scrotum with one hand to keep it steady. You should be able to feel the spermatic cord between your fingers, which connects the testes to your body.
- Slide your other hand down the surface of the testicle, checking both sides as well as the back and front for any lumps or bumps.
- Roll the testicle between your thumb and forefinger to feel for lumps under the skin.
- You may notice a small, sometimes tender lump at the rear of each testicle, near the top. This is the epididymis, a tube that carries sperm and it should feel the same on both testicles. You should learn to recognise it when you check yourself regularly.
- Be aware of any areas that feel swollen, achy or painful and anything that has changed since the last time you checked.