How to conduct a testicular self-exam

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Testicular cancer is the most prevalent cancer among American males age 15 to 35. But when found early, the cure rate is very high. A testicular self-exam, or TSE, is one good way to detect possible problems. Select a date each month to perform the test. A good time is right after you've taken a warm bath or shower, because the heat loosens tissue, making it easier to discover abnormal lumps. First, check your testicles in the mirror for any swelling of the skin. Then, using both hands, examine each testicle. Put your middle and index fingers on the underside, and your thumb on top. Roll the testicle back and forth. On the back of the testicles, you may feel a small, firm spot; this is a tube called the epididymis (ep-ih-DID-ih-mus), a normal part of the scrotum. If you detect any lumps, see a doctor as soon as possible. Other warning signs are a sudden enlargement of either testicle; a heavy sensation in the scrotum; pain in the abdomen, groin, or testicles; breast tenderness; or a buildup of fluid in the scrotum. In addition to conducting a monthly TSE, you should also have your testicles checked by a doctor, whenever you go in for a regular exam.

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