What is Testicular Self Exam?
Testicular self exam is an examination of the testes that you can do every month in order to detect early testicular cancer.
Why should I perform a testicular self exam?
Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in men age 20 to 35 years old. Tumors in the testes are usually malignant (cancerous) and tend to metastasize (spread to other areas of the body) early. With early detection there is better chance of a cure.
What are the symptoms of Testicular Cancer
Usually the symptoms appear gradually. You may feel a lump or just a painless enlargement of one of the testes. You also may feel a heaviness in the scrotum and lower abdomen. As the cancer progresses you may feel backache, abdominal pain, weight loss and generalized weakness.
How do I perform a TSE?
It is often best to perform the exam after a shower, when the scrotum is descended and more relaxed.
- Hold the left testis with your left hand, with your index and middle finger under the testis and your thumb on top. Roll the test gently in a horizontal pattern between the thumb and fingers. Feel for any evidence of a small lump or anything that feels abnormal. Repeat this step rolling the testis in a vertical pattern.
- Next, feel for the epididymis. This is a cord-like structure that stores and transports sperm to the top back portion of the testicle. Feel along the epididymis for any lumps or abnormalities.
- Repeat steps 1 and 2 for the right testis
Remember, it is normal for one testis to be larger that the other. If you feel any evidence of a small, pea- sized lump report it to your doctor. It could possibly be due to infection or tumor growth.