Self Exam

A How-To Guide

self exam testicular cancerIt is natural for you to be hesitant to perform a self-examination. But it is very simple and will only take a minute. There are some things you should know to help you.

  • It is recommended that you take a warm bath or shower in order to allow the skin that covers the testicle region to relax, making it easier to feel and examine each of your testicles.
  • During or directly after your bath or shower, take a moment to examine each testicle one at a time. Place your thumb over the top of the testicle, with the pointer and middle fingers of your hand behind it. Then, carefully roll your testicle between your fingers.
  • When examining each testicle, feel for any lumps or bumps along the front or side. The tube-like structure that is behind the testicle is supposed to be there. It’s called your epididymis (ep-i-did-uh-mis). The epididymis actually delivers your sperm. Abnormal lumps may be rice or pea-sized and may show up on the sides or front of the testicle.
  • Even though most of us would assume that our testes would be identical in size, it is very normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other. It is also normal if one hangs lower than the other.
  • If you notice any swelling, lumps, or changes in the size or color of your testicle, or if you have any pain or achy sensations, see a doctor right away. Since you know your body better than anyone else, you will know when something changes down there so don’t be afraid or embarrassed to contact your doctor if you have any concerns.

If you do think you have found something during your exam, understand that many times lumps or bumps that are discovered turn out to be nothing. It is still important that you seek a professional opinion from a doctor. Remember, a few minutes checking yourself could save you weeks, months or years of being in a hospital.

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