There's no way to prevent testicular cancer. Some doctors recommend regular testicle self-examinations to identify testicular cancer at its earliest stage. Not all doctors agree, though, so discuss testicular self-examination with your doctor if you're unsure about whether it's right for you.
If you choose to do a testicular self-examination, a good time to examine your testicles is after a warm bath or shower. The heat from the water relaxes your scrotum, making it easier for you to find anything unusual.
To do this examination, follow these steps:
- Stand in front of a mirror. Look for any swelling on the skin of the scrotum.
- Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle while placing your thumbs on the top.
- Gently roll the testicle between the thumbs and the fingers. Remember that the testicles are usually smooth, oval shaped and somewhat firm. It's normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other. Also, the cord leading upward from the top of the testicle (epididymis) is a normal part of the scrotum. By regularly performing this exam, you can become more familiar with your testicles and aware of any changes that might be of concern.
If you find a lump, make an appointment with your doctor.
Oct. 15, 2011
- Ryan CJ, et al. Testicular cancer. In: Abeloff MD, et al. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone; 2008:1713.
- Testicular cancer. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed Aug. 22, 2011.
- Richie JP, et al. Neoplasms of the testis. In: Wein AJ, et al. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2007. http://www.mdconsult.com/das/book/body/208746819-6/0/1445/0.html. Accessed Aug. 22, 2011.
- Testicular self examination (TSE). American Urological Association Foundation. http://www.urologyhealth.org/urology/index.cfm?article=101. Accessed Aug. 22, 2011.
- Ilic D, et al. Screening for testicular cancer. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2011;CD007853. http://www2.cochrane.org/reviews. Accessed Aug. 22, 2011.
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