It’s OK to check your testicles

Apr 1, 2021


Fast growing cancer

Testicular cancer has a fast onset and grows quickly. A tumor in the testicles can double in size in less than a month! “If you feel any kind of lump, swelling or pain in the testicles or scrotum, come in to get checked,” says Dr. Eric Klein, a urologist at Adventist Health Tillamook.

Find early with self-exam

The cure rate for testicular cancer is 95%. But you don’t want to give the cancer the chance to spread to other organs. “The best way to protect yourself is to do a monthly self-exam,” Dr. Klein says. In a hot shower, hold the top of one testicle between your thumb and first finger. Hold the bottom of the testicle with the other hand. Slide your thumb and finger downward and press gently. Feel for any lumps, then repeat with the other testicle. If you do find a lump, it may not be cancer, but it needs to be checked.

Teens, too

Testicular cancer is most common in men and boys ages 15-35. “If you have a teenage son, have a talk about this cancer and the signs,” Dr. Klein says. “Explain the importance of a monthly self-exam. Teach them not to delay in telling you or their providers if something feels wrong.”

Higher risk groups

A family history of testicular cancer or an undescended testicle may put you at higher risk. “Talking about your testicles may feel awkward, but this is a highly curable cancer when we catch it early,” Dr. Klein says.