This is the look that I often get, when I say, "Next we need to do a testicular exam." Since my previous blog covered pap smears, it's only fair to give the guys equal time.
Testicular cancer is the most common solid tumor in men 15 to 35 years old. It accounts for 20 percent of cancer diagnosed in this age group. The risk increases if there is a family history of testicular cancer, an undescended testicle in childhood, or HIV.
It often presents as a painless, firm mass in the testicles which is found either by the physician or by the patient or by his partner. An early discovery of the cancer improves the chance of cure. There is some debate over this topic, but many health professionals recommend that men 15 to 40 years old do a self examination of the testicles once a month.
A self examination is done by placing the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll each testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers. There is a good description of the exam on the Testicular Cancer Resource Center site.
If any lumps are found then you should contact your doctor.
References: please see specific links.
Photo: courtesy of jessejames.