How to check your testicles? Self Care Advice
1) Be aware of what is normal for you
There is no evidence to show that checking your testicles weekly or monthly will find testicle cancer earlier. Being aware of what is normal for you and checking them from time to time is enough. A good time to check your testicles is after a warm bath or shower, when the skin of your scrotum is relaxed. Tell your doctor if you notice any changes, because changes tend to concern us most.
Some men are at higher risk of testicular cancer. This list on Cancer Research UK as very good and comprehensive. There is no evidence to recommend any regular screening or examination for any testicular conditions and there are no national screening programmes.
2) What to look out for
Get to know what is normal for you so that you can notice any changes. Hold your scrotum (sac) with both hands so that you can use the fingers and thumb to examine your testicles. Note the size and weight of the testicles. It is common to have one testicle slightly larger, or that hangs lower than the other. Some men have quite large differences. Important is to look for change. Any size increase should be concerning.
Gently feel each testicle individually. You should feel a soft squashy structure at the top and back of the testicle. This tube is the epididymis which carries and stores sperm. It may feel slightly tender. Don’t confuse it with an abnormal lump. You should be able to feel the firm, smooth tube of the spermatic cord which runs up from the epididymis.
Feel the testicle itself. It should be smooth with no additional hard lumps or swellings. Soft lumps are commonly Epididymal Cysts or Lipomas and generally benign, but you should still ask a health professional about any new lump. It is unusual to develop cancer in both testicles at the same time. So if you are wondering whether a testicle is feeling normal or not you can compare it with the other.
3) What next?
Remember that if you do find a hard swelling in your testicle, make an appointment and have it checked by your doctor urgently, if it is a soft swelling you can generally make a routine appointment. If in doubt, it is urgent.