Many men who are diagnosed with testicular cancer attribute it to pure luck that they found out. There are a number of atypical symptoms what when examined together would normally raise a red flag.
However, quite a few men are likely to ignore these symptoms when they are not experienced together. It is usually either a diagnostic test run for another illness or even a chance finding of a lump that kicks off the quest in diagnosing testicular cancer.
Doctors and cancer specialists report that testicular cancer is more likely to be caught early when men conduct routine self-examinations of their testicles. The first step in the treatment and cure of this type of cancer starts with self-discovery. This is very similar to what women do when they conduct self-breast exams every month.
Who and When
As males of all ages can get testicular cancer, boys starting in adolescence should be educated in how to conduct self-examinations. Their primary car physician can usually show them during their yearly physicals.
Pick a day of the month, like the first day to perform the test so that it is easy to remember. These examinations are best conducted after a warm shower or bath. The heat allows the scrotal area to relax, thus being able to spot any abnormalities quicker during the exam.
Self Exam Steps
1. In front of a mirror, look at the scrotal sac for any swelling or abnormality of size from one testicle to another.
2. Inspect each testicle, one at a time, using both of your hands. The middle and index fingers should be placed on the bottom of the testicle with the thumbs placed on the top. In this position, softly roll each testicle around. You are feeling for any abnormalities like lumps or even swelling or pain.
3. Ensure you do not mistake your epididymis with a suspicious lump. The epididymis is the tubal structure which carries sperm and is located behind the testes. Many lumps that turn out to be cancerous are located on the sides or even the front of the testicle.
4. If you find anything that you deem suspicious or just unsure about, make an appointment with your primary care physician. There are plenty of reasons why a lump could be on your testicle that have nothing to do with cancer. However, in order to find this out, you must be checked out by a doctor. If the lump seems suspicious to them, they will refer you to a specialist who will conduct several diagnostic tests to make sure.
Maintaining good health starts with banishing any fears about “what could happen.” Get rid of any self-conscious thoughts about manipulating yourself in the groin area (like men have never done that before anyway).
Unless you enlist someone’s help, no one is going to know that you conduct self-examinations of your testicles. Sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the possibility of cancer could be spelling your own death sentence. Be proactive in your health and you will enjoy it for years to come.