Why do self-exams
Testicular self exams are important to notice changes in one’s testicles. By doing the monthly testicular self exams, you should become familiar with your 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 you do notice any changes then 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, or if one testicle hangs lower than the other - that's normal.
You should also be aware that each normal testicle has a small, coiled tube called the epididymis that can feel like a small bump on the upper or middle outer side of the testis.
Normal testicles also contain blood vessels, supporting tissues, and tubes that carry sperm. Some men may confuse these with abnormal lumps at first. If you have any concerns, ask your doctor.
Stand in front of a mirror if possible. Check for any swelling on the scrotal skin.
Examine each testicle with both hands. Hold your testicle between your thumbs and middle fingers and roll it gently but firmly between your fingers.
Look and feel for any hard lumps or nodules (smooth rounded masses) or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of your testicles.
You should not feel any pain when performing the self-exam. Be aware of any dull soreness or heaviness. The testicles should be smooth and firm to the touch.
A testicle can get larger for many reasons other than cancer. For example, fluid can collect around the testicle to form a hydrocele. Or the veins in the testicle can dilate and cause enlargement and lumpiness around the testicle. If your testicle seems larger, have a doctor examine you to be sure you have one of these conditions and not a tumor.