June 09, 2022
It’s crucial for young men to know how, when and why to perform testicular exams. Much like breast exams for women, testicular exams for men should be performed regularly to keep tabs on their health. Unfortunately, the importance of these exams is not as widely known as it should be. Many that do know are embarrassed to talk about them. It’s important that these exams are not overlooked, which is why Jeffery Holzbeierlein, MD, urology chair at The University of Kansas Health System, provides a list of 3 things men should know about testicular exams.
The identification of an abnormality in the testicle early on is critical toward having a diagnosis and early detection. The earliest warning sign of testicular cancer is the identification of a mass in the testicle. – Jeffery Holzbeierlein, MDUrology chair
Self-testicular examinations are easy and valuable
Men can perform self-testicular examinations by gently rolling their testicles between their fingers and thumb, looking for any sudden changes in size or hardness. The best time to do these examinations is during or after a shower.
“The identification of an abnormality in the testicle early on is critical toward having a diagnosis and early detection,” Dr. Holzbeierlein says. “The earliest warning sign of testicular cancer is the identification of a mass in the testicle.”
A mass in the testicle may not necessarily feel tender or painful. In fact, most masses will not feel tender early on. So men who find abnormal bumps or masses in their testicles should talk to their primary care doctor or urologist right away, regardless of whether any pain is felt during self-examinations.
Nobody should be embarrassed about testicular examinations
All physicians know how important these examinations are for men. Nobody should feel embarrassed about talking to their doctors about testicular examinations. If you’re a man between the ages of 18-40, you should feel empowered and comfortable to ask your doctor questions like these at your next checkup:
- How do I perform a self-examination?
- What should I look for?
- What happens if I find something different or strange?
- I found a lump in my testicles – what is it and what should I do about it?
Testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers
The good news is that the cure rate for testicular cancer is over 98%. Early detection helps increase the odds of a cure. So if you find a lump or mass in your testicles, don’t panic. Talk to your doctor and figure out the next steps together.