Grab Your Gonads!

Everyone is more than aware just how important it is for women to self-check their breasts on a monthly basis, to note any lumps, bumps, dimpling, or other changes which may indicate there is something that needs to be checked out by a doctor. But what about guys?

It is every bit as important that men regularly check their testicles, in a similar way to how women are recommended to keep a watch on their breasts. Called Testicular Self Examination (TSE), it takes just a few minutes (in the shower can be a great time to do so) and can help detect testicular cancer in its earliest stages, when it is very highly curable.

Though testicular cancer is relatively rare, it also has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers – which is why it is so important to find it early. Men of all ages may be affected, but most commonly they are between sixteen and forty years of age.

All guys should regularly check their testicles, to be familiar with what is normal for them, and to easily note if a change presents. Those men for whom the risk is greater include having had an undescended testis at birth, or who are infertile – but any man can be at risk. There are also other, non-cancerous testicular conditions which need to be seen to and which TSE can identify.

TSE takes only a minute or two – literally. Choose a day once a month. Make sure the scrotum is relaxed and warm, such as just after a shower. Check one testicle first, then the other. Roll the testis using fingers and thumbs of both hands, and also feel along the underside of the scrotum (this should feel like a small bunch of tightly curled tubes). Healthy testicles should feel like smooth, firm eggs, not be painful or uncomfortable to gently handle, and one may be slightly larger than the other. One will commonly hang lower than the other.

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If you note any kind of irregularity or change, see your doctor promptly. It may not necessarily be cancer! There are a number of other conditions which may cause irregularities. If it is cancer, early treatment is vitally important.

Look after what you have in your undies – grab your gonads every month!