Cells in the body normally divide only when new cells are needed. Sometimes cells will divide for no reason and without order, creating a mass of tissue called a tumour. Tumours can be benign or malignant. Testicular cancer is a malignant tumour in a testicle. The testicles are oval-shaped sex glands in a sack of skin called the scrotum. The scrotum is located behind the penis. This type of cancer, although relatively rare, mostly affects men between the ages of 15 and 35.
How Can I Prevent Testicular Cancer?
You can detect testicular cancer by doing a monthly testicular self-exam. Self-examining is a way that men can look for signs of cancer of the testicles. To do a self-exam, follow these steps.
- Do the exam after a warm shower or bath. The warmth relaxes the skin of the scrotum, making it easier to feel or anything unusual.
- Use both hands to examine each testicle. Place your index and middle fingers underneath the testicle and your thumbs on top. Roll the testicle between your thumbs and fingers.
- As you feel the testicle, you may notice a cord-like structure on top and in the back of the testicle. This structure is called the epididymis. It stores and transports sperm. Do not confuse it with a lump.
- Feel for any lumps. Lumps can be pea size or larger and are often painless. If you notice a lump, contact your doctor. Also check for any change in size, shape, or consistency of the testes.
- You should also get a physical exam once a year.
After a while, you will know how your testicles feel and will be more alert to any changes. So, now you know what you need to be keeping an eye on when it comes to looking out for testicular cancer.