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What is testicular self-examination (TSE)?

Mark S. Litwin, MD
Urology
To perform a testicular self-examination, first get in the shower -- your testicles will be lower down because of the warmth of the water of the shower. Once you're all soaped up, take two hands and feel the testicles very carefully. Take the tips of your fingers and pass each testicle back and forth from your left hand to your right hand using your fingertips to palpate, or examine or feel, the surface of each testicle.

What you should feel in a normal testicle is the main globe of the testicle, which is egg-shaped. Adjacent to the testicle there are lots of tubes, blood vessels, nerves, muscles and fat tissue, which are not to be concerned about. Men don’t get testicular cancer from them. The cancer is formed in the testicles themselves.

What a tumor feels like is a rock growing within the body of the testicle. It could begin to push through the outer edges of the testicle, and that’s where most young men will feel the mass or the tumor itself. You wouldn't see it and you might not notice the swelling, but you can feel it. It’s important for a man to know the nooks and crannies of his own body because he can better recognize when something abnormal develops.
A testicular self-examination is the best way to keep your testicles healthy. Starting to touch your testicles when you are still young will give you a baseline of what a normal testicle feels like. If you feel something different as you get older it would be time to call your healthcare practitioner. Want to know how to do a testicular self-check (examination) correctly? Check out the video and print guide at: http://selfchec.org/main/self-checks/cancers/testicular-cancer/

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.