Some men shy away from talking about what’s really important. Don’t be that kind of man, especially if it concerns cancer. Instead, begin by talking with Dr. Diner and asking how to do self screening for testicular cancer.
Rare But Deadly
As with all cancers in general, early detection provides a better chance for survival. Finding it at an early stage makes treatment more successful and can allow for more options to be offered.
The only method for initially diagnosing testicular cancer is a self exam once a month. In addition, ask your physician to do an annual exam. Find out from the professional what to look for and what you should especially notice if something is wrong. Doing the self exam helps to establish your “normal.”
Although testicular cancer is rare compared with other male cancers, it can still be quite deadly if left untreated.
Self Screening Tips
- Begin in the shower with warm water.
- Although each scrotum may be different, each testis is smooth and oval shaped
- Feel each testis one at a time using your thumb and two fingers to feel both sides
- Testicular cancer usually develops in only one testicle, so this comparison each month can help you notice any changes
- It is normal for one testis to be larger than the other
- Become familiar with the epididymis, a tube behind the testicle so as not to mistake it for an abnormality
- Feel for lumps, bumps, and nodules and be aware cancer can be painless
- Don’t squeeze so hard to cause pain
- Look for changes in size, shape, and texture
As you practice this self-screening each month you will become more familiar with your body and be able to detect any changes.
Other Signs To Look For
Although the self exam is the first line of defense, there are some other red flags that you should be aware of, like if one testicle is swollen or feels weighty in your scrotum. Any fluid, pain, or dull ache should be examined by Dr. Diner.
Testicular cancer can progress quickly, so the monthly self screening is a habit worth starting.