What every man should feel
No, we’re not talking about emotions. What all men should be getting a handle on is further south. Regular checks of the testicles could be a lifesaver.
It’s estimated 800 Australian men will be affected by testicular cancer this year.
While it is rare, it most commonly occurs in young men between 18-39 years old.
Behind skin cancer, it’s the second most common form of cancer in this age group.
The good news is if it’s detected and treated early, the chance of beating it is high.
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer
While some men don’t have any symptoms at all, others may experience:
- An enlarged testicle or a painless lump
- Any changes to the testicle region
- A heavy feeling in the scrotum
- Back, lower stomach or groin pain
- Sensitivity or swelling to the breast area
- Sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum.
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We hear a lot about women needing to do regular breast checks, but many men might not know they should self-check their testicles about once a month.
It’s important men to do, it’s something that can be easily worked into your daily routine, and it only takes a few minutes. Here are a few tips on how you can go about it.
- Check each testicle individually
- Using your fingers and thump gently roll each testicle feeling for any lumps or changes
- Repeat on the other testicle
- Feel underneath the scrotum to the tube at the back (known as the epididymis) which should feel like tightly curled tubes. Make sure there is no swelling to the area.
It’s a good idea to make sure the area is warm and relaxed, so performing a self-exam in the bath or shower can help. Some men prefer to perform a test in front of the mirror so they can see what they’re feeling. The main thing to look for is any changes, swelling, a lump or lumps whether painful or not. The test itself should not be painful so if it’s hurting ease off on the pressure. If the pain is unusual or if any changes are detected, it’s important to see a doctor.
It’s important to remember that just like with breast cancer, not all lumps are cancerous. However, we know early detection can be lifesaving so it’s vital men perform regular self-checks and see a doctor if there’s anything out of the ordinary.