Testicular Cancer

Early detection of testicular cancer is an important factor in its treatment. Discovering the symptoms of testicular cancer at an early stage can be vital for effective treatment. If you are not sure what is right and what is wrong or just need some reassurance, then make an appointment with your medical practitioner.

Steps for testicular examination:

  • Check your testicles at least once a month.
  • Perform the test after a warm shower.
  • Check one testicle at the time.
  • Gently roll it between fingers the entire surface of the testicles.
  • Feel up for epididymis and spermatic cords on the back of the testicles.
  • Feel for small painless or uncomfortable lumps.
  • Look in changes in size, shape or consistency.
  • Feel any painful areas.

It is important to know your "normal" body to be able to distinguish any changes immediately. Knowing your normality may need sometime. Do not press too hard, as it really will hurt, that is why, the best time to do it is after a warm shower when the scrotal sac is relaxed. Remember, it is not unusual for one ball to be larger or hang lower than the other, so don’t let this worry you. What is important is to know how your body usually looks and feels.

Warning signs include:

  • Testicular swelling or unusual difference in size between one testicle and the other.
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
  • A pea-sized hard lump on the testicle.
  • A dull ache in the abdomen or groin.
  • Sharp pain around the testicle or in the scrotum.
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum.
  • Enlargement of the breasts (Gynaecomastia).

If you find a lump or swelling, or any of the above signs, it is important to get it checked out by your medical practitioner as soon as possible. It is not something that one should be shy or embarrassed to talk about. This one of the very few cancers where we speak about total cure if in time.

Prostate Examination
The prostate is located at the base of the bladder. Its main function is to produce a fluid which serves as a transport medium for sperm. Unlike testicular cancer, one cannot examine the prostate himself. It is recommended that the first time you should check for prostate cancer is around 50 years of age. If there is family history with prostate cancer, you should start checking at around age 45.

The prostate exam is carried out mainly for two reasons: to check for prostate cancer and to check for prostatic hyperplasia (benign enlargement of the prostate which can lead to urinary symptoms). One way to examine the prostate is Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA). This test measures levels of PSA in the blood. The medical practitioner may ask you to perform more tests if need be.