Cancer prevention often centers around reducing modifiable risk factors. But the risk factors for testicular cancer — such as family history, your race and how your testicles developed — are not within your control. And at this time, no screening test exists to detect early signs of testicular cancer.
However, you can take steps to protect yourself. A scrotal and testicular exam should be part of your routine healthcare from your primary care provider. In addition, checking yourself regularly can help you learn what’s normal for you and recognize when something abnormal appears. For example, it’s normal for one testicle to be larger than the other, or to hang lower than the other. Be sure to tell you doctor about any unusual lumps or other changes.
How to check for testicular cancer
A self-exam is easy and takes only minutes. Experts suggest performing a monthly self-exam during or after a shower, when your skin is warm and relaxed. Follow these steps:
- Examine yourself while standing
- Hold your penis out of the way and examine each testicle separately
- Gently feel your scrotal sac to locate a testicle
- Hold a testicle between your thumbs and fingers with both hands and roll it gently between your fingers
- Look for any hard lumps or masses
- Note any changes in the size, shape or consistency of your testicles
- Repeat the procedure with the other testicle
Experts in urology care
If you are experiencing symptoms consistent with urinary issues, we urge you to complete our urologic cancer risk assessment form.