What you can expect

By Mayo Clinic Staff

To do a testicular self-exam, stand unclothed in front of a mirror. Then:

  • Look for swelling. Hold your penis out of the way and examine the skin of the scrotum.
  • Examine each testicle. Using both hands, place your index and middle fingers under the testicle and your thumbs on top.
  • Gently roll the testicle between your thumbs and fingers. Look and feel for any changes to your testicle. These could include hard lumps, smooth rounded bumps, or new changes in the size, shape or consistency of the testicle.

While you're doing the testicular self-exam, you may notice a few things about your testicles that seem unusual but aren't signs of cancer. For example, bumps on the skin of your scrotum can be caused by ingrown hairs, a rash or other skin problems.

You may also feel a soft, ropy cord, which is a normal part of the scrotum called the epididymis. It leads upward from the top of the back part of each testicle.

Nov. 22, 2014