Why You Should Be Examining Your Balls

Updated: Jun 9, 2021

A man examining a soccer ball as a metaphor for testicular cancer

Did you know that rates of testicular cancer are on the rise? Presently, there is no scientific reason why this is so (however there is a theory; that men tend to ignore signs and symptoms).

Knowledge is only potential power, but knowledge in action is true power.

In light of this, we would like to you become more proactive about your health. We want to encourage you to invest in your health; ask your GP about specific cancer screening tests relevant to your age, medical and family history.

Checking for testicular cancer takes just a few minutes each month and could save your life and your crown jewels!

Testicular Cancer Symptoms

The number one sign of testicular cancer is a swollen testicle or testicle lump.

Changes to look out for in your scrotum include:

  • Aches and pains in your testicles or scrotum

  • A heavy feeling in your scrotum

  • Changes in the texture or firmness of one testicle

  • Any difference between your testicles

You can check for these signs yourself by doing a self-examination about once a month.

Young men should start testicular self-examinations soon after puberty. Men from the age 15 to 49 years need to examine their testicles each month. This only takes a minute and can be done during or after a shower. Just gently roll each testicle between your thumb and fingers, checking for any of the changes mentioned above. Your testicles should be smooth, firm and comfortable to touch. It’s normal for one to be bigger than the other or for the left one to hang lower, so don’t worry! By checking regularly you’ll learn what is and isn’t normal for your body.

You can find more info on testicular cancer and how to examine your testicles with this FAQ and examination guide here.

Lumps are the main testicular cancer symptom, as they are the first thing that happens. If the disease has reached a later stage without you noticing, then there are other symptoms of testicular cancer you might experience:

  • Coughing or spitting up blood

  • A cough that won’t go away

  • Shortness of breath

  • Swelling in your ‘breasts’

  • Swelling or lumpiness in your neck

  • Lower back pain

The later stages of cancer are called metastatic cancer; this is when it spreads from your testicles to other areas like your lymph nodes or lungs. By checking yourself every month you can avoid this; get to your GP’s office as soon as you notice any changes!

Testicular cancer treatment

Your doctor will perform an exam and if they think it could be cancer you’ll be sent for an ultrasound and blood tests. Unfortunately, the only way to be completely certain of a testicular cancer diagnosis is to remove the affected testicle. This sounds scary but it doesn’t affect your sex life or fertility and you can have an artificial testicle put in its place.

If you have identified the cancer in its early stages, then testicle removal is often the only treatment needed. More advanced testicular cancer requires chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

Even though Testicular Cancer is increasing in incidence in many countries, mortality rates remain low and most men are cured, as long as the cancer is caught before it metastasizes.

So take control of your health, don't let yourself become a passing statistic.

To read more about issues regarding men's health click here






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