Cancer. It sounds bad doesn’t it? Nobody wants to hear the words. We don’t want to hear it from our family members, friends, veterinarians…. We especially don’t want to hear it from our medical providers. The good news about testicular cancer is that it’s often curable if caught early. So how do we catch it early? Well…we have to notice it. To notice it we have to do something no man likes to do…NOT! We have to touch our testicles. Really…I am encouraging you to touch your testicles!
How should I touch my testicles you ask? Turn out the lights….Light some candles….Turn on some Barry White…Get in the bathtub and start touching. You see that warm water in the tub does something important. It relaxes the scrotum skin and allows you to feel subtle changes in your testicle. Your testicle should feel a bit like a tennis ball…slightly spongy. If you feel anything hard, that has no give to it, you should tell your medical provider. Keep in mind, there is other stuff in your scrotum besides your testicles. If you read my last post, you know these things can sometimes become swollen and painful. In general, testicular cancer presents as a painless mass. As a rule though, any mass, painful or non-painful, in any of your man parts, warrants a trip to the clinic.
“As a rule, any mass- painful or non-painful, in any of your man parts, warrants a trip to the clinic.”
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
Besides feeling a hard mass, here are some other symptoms of testicular cancer:
- pelvic pain
- lower abdominal discomfort
- lower back pain
- enlarged or painful breasts
- scrotal fullness
- testicular pain (less than 10% of the time)
The most common form of testicular cancer occurs in men ages 14-35. Risk factors include: undescended testicle at birth, family history of testicular cancer, HIV infection, previous cancer in the other testicle, white race, and a condition called hypospadias (where the pee hole is on the underside of the penis).
So, turn on the Barry White, get in the bathtub and check your testicles. If one feels different than the other, ask your medical provider to check it out for you!