Testicular Self Exam

The Facts about Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is the most common kind of cancer for men aged 15 to 35. It develops when a malignant tumor grows on one of the testicles. The tumor can metastasize and spread through the rest of the body. Some risk factors for testicular cancer are an undescended testicle, abnormal testicular development, and family history. However, men without any of these risk factors can still get testicular cancer, so every male should perform monthly testicular self exams!

When discovered early, testicular cancer is almost 100% curable. Even when detected in later stages, the cure rate with aggressive treatment is greater than 80%. The key to beating this kind of cancer is early detection. Testicular cancer discovered during a routine medical exam is likely to be much further advanced than when discovered by the male himself. Monthly testicular self exams are a good way to detect testicular cancer in its early stages.

Testicular Self Exam Steps

It is best to check yourself after a warm shower or bath when the skin is relaxed.

1) Stand in front of a mirror and check for swelling visually.
2) Cup one of your testicles with your hand and feel if there is anything abnormal
3) Roll the testicle between your thumb and fingers and feel for any unusual lumps
4) Repeat procedures with the other testicle.
5) Locate the epididymis (a soft tube like structure) and grasp to feel for swelling.

For more information on performing testicular self exams and early detection of testicular cancer, check out http://singlejingles.org/beat-tc/

Symptoms of Testicular Cancer

Symptoms include, but are not limited to:

  • A change in size or shape of one or both testes
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin
  • Pain or pressure feeling in the belly or lower back
  • Unexplained fatigue or a general feeling of not being well

On Campus Resources

Student Health Center
Darnall Hall Ground Floor
To make an appt: (202) 687-2200

After hours clinician on-call: (202) 444-7243