Testicular self-exam, a matter of prevention Testicular self-exam, a matter of prevention

A lump, an enlarged testicle or changes to the density and texture the testicles are symptoms that may be warning signs of testicular cancer, a rare disease that affects one out of every 5,000 men. 

This form of cancer can happen to men of any age; however, 50% of cases occur in men between ages 20 and 35. Ranging between 95 and 99%, it also has a very high recovery rate. Urologist Alejandro Gaviria provides us with some tips for prevention:

What to do to detect testicular cancer on time:

  • Perform a testicular self-exam while taking a hot showering or bath, or immediately afterwards. The scrotum (the skin that covers the testicles) is more relaxed at this time, which makes the process easier.
  • Examine one testicle at a time. Applying light pressure, roll each testicle between the fingers of both hands. Place your thumb on the upper part of the testicle, with your pointer and middle finger behind, and roll this part of the testicle between your fingers.
  • You should feel the epididymis (the duct that sperm travels through), a soft rope-like structure that hurts a little if pressure is placed upon it, located on the upper ridge of each testicle. This lump is normal.
  • Remember that most men have one testicle that is bigger than the other. This is also normal.
  • When examining each testicle, look for lumps or bumps along the front or sides. Sometimes, these lumps can be as small as a grain of rice or a pea.
  • If you notice any swelling, lumps or changes to the size and color of a testicle, or if you feel any pain or discomfort in the groin, see a doctor immediately.
  • While lumps or swelling are not necessarily signs of cancer, it is best to take precautions. Testicular cancer can be cured if it is detected and treated on time.