Health Info

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General Health - Testicular Exam

Testicular Cancer

The most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 20 and 40 – can be completely cured if it’s detected early and treated promptly, but can be deadly if it’s not. The best way to detect it begins with a testicular self-exam.

How do I perform the testicular self-exam?

Follow these simple steps for a thorough TSE:

What am I looking for?

Normal testicles usually feel smooth and spongy. It is normal for the testicles to be different in size. What you are trying to feel is any pea-sized lumps or other irregularities at the front and sides of the testicles. Learn to recognize the ropelike, tubular feel of the epididymis, a naturally occurring structure running from top to bottom along the back of each testicle, so that you don’t confuse it with an abnormal growth.

If you can feel a hard lump on the front or side of one of the testicles or if you feel any pain or discomfort when performing the exam, contact your doctor right away so he or she can check what you have found. Don’t put it off!!

When should I do a testicular self exam?

The exam is easy to carry out and works best if you do it during or after a shower, when the skin of the scrotum is smooth and relaxed and it’s easy to feel the testicles.

Testicular cancer can be cured completely if it’s detected early and treated promptly but can be deadly if it’s not.

Increased Risk

Men with a history of the following are at an increased risk for testicular cancer:

Does every lump in a testicle mean cancer?

Not all lumps are cancerous. Chances are you are quite healthy or have a condition that can readily be treated. But remember, if cancerous growth is indeed present, any delay in detection and treatment gives it time to spread to other parts of your body, at which point it is much more difficult to treat successfully than it would have been earlier.

So be sure to perform the TSE regularly, and see your doctor if you have any questions about this or any other aspect of your health.


In an emergency go to Mount Nittany Medical Center or call 911 for an ambulance.

Test Results and Advice Nurse

Please call the nurse for test results and advice: 863-4463


Appointments can be made online via the UHS website, by phone or in person. If you are unable to keep your appointment, please call and cancel. Otherwise you will be charged for the visit.

To schedule or cancel appointments call 863-0774 or schedule your appointment online through the UHS website

This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. This information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.

Approved by the UHS Patient Education Committee

Reviewed 2/10/16

Other Health Topics: Women’s Health | Sexual Health | Birth Control | Illegal Drug Use

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