Introduction: Examine Yourself for Testicular Cancer
This I'ble will guide you through the process, of examining your testicles for abnormalities, growths and changes in general.
Although testicular cancer cannot be prevented, the earlier the detection of the disease, the better the outcome.
Warning: This I'ble contains illustrations of male genitals. If you are not mature enough to view this, please hit "back" to leave the way you came in.''
I would strongly advise that if you have young or even older sons, you take the time to pass on this potentially life saving information on to them.
They do not deserve to find out about this simple check later in life. They should be informed prior to their teens and asked to make their own decision as to whether they feel they would like to participate.
This could be a great father-son relationship builder, I know many questions were answered by my own father. They want to know, they just need some prompting. Call them in and lets go through this together as adults.
As with most cancers, the earlier the detection of testicular cancer, the better the outcome may be. Although there is no definitive evidence suggesting that testicular self examination is beneficial in detecting testicular cancer, men are advised to seek medical advice if they experience any changes or abnormalities in their testicles.
We won't notice these changes unless we pro-actively check for them.
There are two different types of testicular cancer, non-seminoma, a cancer of the mature germ cells affecting mostly the 15-35 male year old age group and seminoma, cancer formed from immature germ cells, which generally affects the 25-55 male age group.
Examining your testicles is not a painful experience, nor is it something you should find over-whelming. It is part of keeping yourself in tip-top shape and should be done on a regular basis.
Every 4 weeks at the minimum. Preferably a quick check, every time you jump in the shower is best.
Step 1: What to Look/feel For
What we will be searching for
~ The testicle should be smooth except for the back of the testicle where the epididymis (which collects and carries sperm) lies. It may feel bumpy.
~ If there has been an obvious increase or decrease in the size of the testicle. One testicle is usually larger and will hang lower than the other. This is normal. You would also notice the penis will lean away from the side with the lower testes. As in myself, my right testicle is lower, my penis leans to the left and the Epididymus extends completely to the lowest portion of the testicle. Much further than what is depicted. I immediately sought medical assistance and was very relieved to find out that this is normal. In fact it would be considered unusual if both testicles are identical and one does not hang lower. 95% of penises lean to a specific side, so don't think your unusual.
~ Lumps or abnormalities on or inside the testes. This includes on the skin also. (These may feel like a grain of uncooked rice or a small cooked pea.)
~ Heaviness or dragging in the testes.
~ Dull aches.
~ Discharge or puss from the penis.
~ Fluid collection in the scrotum.
Now that you know what we are looking for, lets find out how to go about it.
Step 2: Method
Step 1: Stand in front of a mirror. Move penis out of the way and check for any swelling of the scrotal skin.
Step 2: Get in a shower or warm bath- heat relaxes the scrotum making it easier to spot anything abnormal.
Step 3: Start with your left testicle. Put your index and middle fingers of your left hand under the testicle and your thumb of your left hand on top of your testicle. Roll the testicle gently between the thumb and fingers.
Step 4: Repeat using your right hand to examine your left testicle.
Step 5: Use first your right hand to examine your right testicle. Then repeat the examination on your right testicle using your left hand
You most probably will not discover anything unusual, yet this is a on going process in which you will find out what you should feel like. It's all about change.
The better equipped we are to detect change immediately, the better shape we are in to do something about it immediately.
Step 3: The Outcome
So, we are all checked for today.
If you have noticed any of the formentioned items during the check, then you would be best to seek medical advice immediatley.
Now you have found something, get it examined. There is no point checking yourself, if your not going to follow through.
Now that we know what checking for testicular cancer is all about, you have no excuse not to check yourself.
It only takes a minute and could possibly save your life.