Testicular Self Examination
Why should I check my testicles (balls)?
Finding a lump or noticing a change in a testicle may be the first sign of testicular cancer. If this is treated early then it can be cured in over 95% of cases. By checking yourself regularly you will know what is normal for you and you should find it easier to spot anything unusual and get it checked out quickly.
Can anybody develop testicular cancer?
Any man can develop testicular cancer, but those who are aged between 20 and 50 are more at risk.
How do I check my testicles?
The best time to do this is during or after a warm bath or shower when you are more relaxed. Hold your scrotum (the sac containing your testicles) in the palm of your hand and use your fingers and thumb to feel the size and weight of each one. Roll each testicle gently, feeling for any hard lumps and noting any differences between them.
What should testicles feel like?
Normal testicles are oval in shape and should feel smooth and firm but not hard. There is a tube at the back of each testicle which is the sperm tube (or epididymis). Both testes should be a similar size although it is normal for one to be slightly larger than the other or hang slightly lower.
What should I look for?
You should see your GP as soon as possible if you notice any of the following:
- Hardness or lump
- Testicle feeling firmer than before
- Weight gain on your testicles
- Collection of fluid inside your scrotum
Other symptoms that should be reported as soon as possible to a doctor include:
- Feeling of heaviness in your testicles
- Dull ache in your groin, scrotum or abdomen (stomach)
- Blood passing from your penis
- Back pain
- Any change from normal on examination
In most cases these symptoms will be due to conditions other than cancer such as infection, inflammation or injury, so don't panic if you develop them. However, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible to get them checked out.