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Testicular self-examination

Testicular cancer has a very good cure rate. To help find testicular cancer early, it is recommended that young men check their testes regularly for any lumps or swellings, and if concerned, see their doctor straight away.

What is testicular self-examination?

A testicular self-examination (TSE) is a quick and simple process which may be easier after a warm bath or shower when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed. A testicular self-examination involves feeling the testes, one at a time, using the fingers and thumb, and should only take a few minutes.

How is testicular self-examination done?

testicularexamUsing the palm of your hand, support your scrotum. Gently roll one testis between the thumb and fingers to feel for any lumps or swellings in or on the surface of the testis. Repeat with the other testis. The testes should feel firm and the surface should feel smooth.

Using the thumb and fingers, feel along the epididymis at the back of the testis. The epididymis is a soft, highly coiled tube that carries sperm from the testis to the vas deferens. Check for any swelling in this area. If there is any change to how the testes feel normally, see your local doctor (GP) straight away.

Even if you have had testicular cancer, or are being treated, it is important to still perform a testicular self-examination. About one in 25 men who have had testicular cancer may develop cancer in the other testis.

It is normal for one testis to be slightly bigger than the other and the left testis often hangs lower than the right.

When should I see a doctor if I have a lump in my testis?

If you notice a hard lump or any change in your testes, see your local doctor (GP) straight away. You may be referred to a urologist. Urologists are doctors (surgeons) who specialise in diseases of the urinary tract in men and women,
and the genital organs of men.

Last modified: February 20, 2015
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