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WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
A testicular self-examination (TSE) is a way to check your testicles for lumps and other changes. The main sign of testicular cancer is a lump on the testicle. TSEs can help you learn how your testicles normally look and feel. Regular TSEs can help you find lumps or changes that you should tell your healthcare provider about. Testicular cancer is often curable if it is found early. Ask your healthcare provider to teach you how to do a TSE if you are not sure how to do it correctly.
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You have any questions about how to do a TSE.
- You have aching or discomfort in your lower abdomen or groin.
- You find any lumps or changes in your testicles.
When to do a TSE:
You may start checking your testicles regularly after you have gone through puberty. An easy way to remember to do a TSE is to do the exam on the same day of each month. Talk to your healthcare provider about how often to do TSEs. The best time is after a warm shower or bath. This is when your scrotum is most relaxed.
How to do a TSE:
- Stand in front of the mirror and look at your scrotum. Look for changes in its shape, size, and color. It may be normal for one side of your scrotum to appear larger or hang lower than the other. It is also normal for one testicle to be a little larger than the other.
- Use both hands to examine each testicle. Hold 1 testicle between your thumbs and pointer fingers. Gently roll the testicle between your thumbs and fingers. Use some pressure as you roll, but do not squeeze the testicle. A TSE should not cause pain. Feel for lumps or changes in the testicle and scrotum. Repeat these steps for the other testicle.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
A TSE should not be the only cancer screening you have. You will still need regular exams to check for cancer or other problems that need to be treated. Ask your healthcare provider how often to be checked. Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
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