Testicular cancer is the most common form of
cancer in men age 15 to 35. But monthly self-exams,
combined with awareness of the symptoms of testicular
cancer, can help men catch this disease at an
early -- and curable -- stage.
Symptoms of testicular cancer include:
- A small, painless lump in a testicle.
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
- A dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin.
- A change in the way a testicle feels.
- A sudden collection of blood or fluid in the
An important part of early detection is a monthly
self-exam. The best time to perform a testicular
self-exam is after a warm bath or shower, as heat
relaxes the scrotum.
The National Cancer Institute recommends following
these steps every month:
in front of a mirror. Look for any changes or
swelling on the skin of the scrotum.
- Examine each testicle with both hands. Place
your index and middle fingers under the testicle
with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle
gently between the thumbs and fingers. Don't
be surprised if one testicle seems slightly
larger than the other. That's normal.
- Find the epididymis, the soft, tubelike structure
behind the testicle that collects and carries
sperm. If you are familiar with this structure,
you won't mistake it for a suspicious lump.
Cancerous lumps usually are found on the sides
of the testicle, but also can appear on the
If you find a lump, see your doctor right away.
Your lump may not be cancerous, but if it is,
it may spread if not treated quickly. Remember
that testicular cancer is highly curable, especially
when it's detected and treated early. And in almost
all cases, testicular cancer occurs in only one
testicle. In those instances, men can maintain
full sexual and reproductive function with the