The number of cases of testicular cancer in India are on the rise, and in the fight against testicular cancer, as against most other forms of cancer, one of the most potent tools is early detection. In order to be able to get help at an early stage, it is important for men to know their testicles well and be able to identify any abnormalities. Most doctors recommend a regular testicular self examination.
According to Delhi based independent medical practitioner, Dr. Arpanaa Kumar, “Regualr self examination of the testicles can go a long way in early detection and can help treat any problems that may arise. It is very important to try and do this examination every month so that one becomes familiar with the normal size and shape of one’s testicles. This will make it much easier to tell if something feels different or abnormal in the future. Many testicular cancers are first discovered by self-examination as a painless lump or an enlarged testicle."
A testicular self examination is best performed after a bath or shower, when the scrotal muscles are warm and relaxed. Examine one testicle at a time. Remember that is quite normal for one testicle to hang slightly lower than the other or for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other.
Using both hands, gently roll each testicle (with slight pressure) between your fingers. Try to locate and feel the epididymis (the sperm-carrying tube), which feels soft, rope-like, and slightly tender to pressure, and is located at the top of the back part of each testicle. This is a normal lump. While examining each testicle, feel for any lumps or bumps along the front or sides. If you notice any swelling, lumps, or changes in the size or colour of a testicle, or if you have any pain, it is important to immediately consult your doctor.