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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Perform a Testicular Self Exam

Testicular cancer kills nearly 400 people per year in the U.S., and the incidence rate of cancer of the testis has increased in recent years in the U.S. and in many other countries. The cancer is unusual in that it affects fairly young men (the average age at diagnosis is about 34 years old). It is also one of the most curable cancers, especially if caught early, and medical authorities recommend that a testicular examination be performed as part of routine medical checkups. In addition, men 20-55 years old should perform a monthly testicular self-examination. A self-examination takes only a couple minutes, and it can save your life, so consult your doctor for advice and follow these steps.
this is the steps

1. Use a mirror to examine your testicles. Sit down in a well-lit area and use a small mirror to examine your scrotum for visible lumps or swelling. A mirror is helpful because otherwise you can't get a good look at the entire scrotum.
2. Feel your testicles to detect any differences between them. Hold your scrotum and testicles in the palm of one hand and feel for any differences between the testicles. It is normal for one testicle to be hang slightly lower than the other and to be slightly larger than the other, but if one testicle seems to be much larger than the other or if it seems to have an abnormal shape or hardness, it's time to see a doctor for further examination.
3. Examine each testicle for lumps or swelling. Use one hand to hold your scrotum and penis in place and use the other to examine each testicle, one at a time. Gently roll the testicle between your thumb and forefinger to check for swelling, lumps, hardness, or an unusual heaviness. Do this slowly and make sure to check all around each testicle. The testicles should be smooth all around, but you will notice a soft tube, called the epididymus, coming from the top of each one.
4. Be on the lookout for other cancer symptoms. While an abnormality in the testes is the surest sign of testicular cancer, other symptoms, such as backache, stomach pains, coughing, or tenderness around the nipples, may be indicative of a spread of the cancer. These symptoms, of course, may accompany any number of other illnesses or injuries, so simply be aware of them and be sure to examine your testicles or see a doctor if they occur.

Some tips

* It's usually easiest to perform a testicular exam after a warm shower, when the scrotum is relaxed.
* It's important to get acquainted with your testicles. Know how they normally look and feel, and you'll be better able to detect changes and abnormalities.
* It's important to have a doctor examine your testes periodically, and you might find it helpful to have your doctor show you exactly how to perform the steps above.
* Don't panic if you notice any of the symptoms described above. What you notice could very well be nothing at all, but do take the opportunity to see a doctor for further examination. The sooner you do so, the sooner you can put your mind at ease. If you do have cancer, early detection and treatment is essential.
* As your checking your testicles your penis may become hard and erect, this is a good thing as your penis is not interfering anymore.


* This article should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice and care. Be sure to visit your doctor regularly for checkups, and seek the advice of a qualified medical professional for more information on this or any medical test or problem.

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