Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between 15 and 45 years old. Although it is still very rare, it is becoming more common and is most frequent in Caucasian men.
If caught early, testicular cancer can nearly always be cured, so it's important that men check their testicles regularly and look for warning signs.
To check your testicles it is best to take a bath or shower first, then examine them whilst drying off, as this is when your scrotum is most relaxed.
To perform the examination:
First, hold the scrotum in the palm of your hand and feel the weight and size of the testicles. It is normal for one testicle to be bigger than the other.
Second, carefully feel each testicle by rolling it between your thumb and finger. It should feel smooth. If the testicle is gently squeezed, it should feel spongy and there should be no pain.
By performing the examination each month, you can feel what is normal for you and therefore spot any changes if they occur.
If at examination there is:
• Swelling or enlargement of a testicle
• A heavy feeling in the scrotum
• A testicle feeling firmer than usual or becoming 'hard'
• Pain or discomfort in the testicle or scrotum
• A strange feeling in one testicle (rarely both)
then you should go and see your doctor as soon as possible. There may be many simple explanations as to why your scrotum or testicles feel different. But if it is testicular cancer then it's important that you have this identified as soon as possible so that it can be treated.
For more information about testicular cancer, go to: http://www.cancerhelp.org.uk.