Men, have you done your monthly testicle check? April is Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s the perfect time to start.
Testicular cancer is on the rise, with the highest rates occurring in teens and young men between the ages of 15 and 44. Risk factors include family history, any abnormal development of the testicle or personal history with an undescended testicle.
Know the facts and learn how to check yourself monthly for early signs of testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer may start in one or both testicles. This type of cancer can grow very quickly and may spread to other areas of the body. That’s one reason why finding it early is so important. Pay attention to:
- Change in size or shape of a testicle
- Swelling or a lump in the testicle or scrotum
- Pain or heavy feeling in the scrotum
- Dull aching in the belly or groin area
- Back pain
- Breast tenderness or enlargement
Testicular cancer is highly curable when found at an early stage. Treatment can include surgery and chemotherapy. Testicular cancer that spreads to other areas of the body can be harder to treat.
How to do a monthly testicular self-exam
Take time out each month to check your testicles for any changes. The shower is an ideal place to check yourself. Follow these simple steps:
- Check each testicle one at a time.
- Hold your testicle with both hands and roll it between your thumb and fingers.
- Know what is normal and what is not. Feel for the tube-like structures attached at the back of the testicles. This is the epididymis and spermatic cord. Each testicle should feel smooth and round. If one testicle is larger than the other, that’s normal.
- Notice any changes. This may include hard or smooth lumps, changes in size or shape.
If you notice changes make an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will do an exam to determine if you need to see a urologist.
Now that you know the facts about testicular cancer start monthly checks — it could save your life.