How is testicular self-examination (TSE) performed?
The best time for you to examine your testicles is during or after a bath or shower, when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed.
- Hold the penis out of the way and examine each testicle separately.
- Hold the testicle between your thumbs and fingers with both hands and roll it gently between the fingers.
- Look and feel for any hard lumps or nodules (smooth rounded masses) or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of the testes.
You should be aware that each normal testis has an epididymis, which can feel like a small bump on the upper or middle outer side of the testis. Normal testicles also contain blood vessels, supporting tissues, and tubes that conduct sperm. Some men may confuse these with cancer at first. If you have any concerns, ask your doctor.
Also, please click to download our shower card (PDF) which can assist you in the process.
NOTE: A testicle can get larger for many reasons other than cancer. Fluid can collect around the testicle to form a benign condition called a hydrocele. Other times, the veins in the testicle can dilate and cause enlargement and lumpiness around the testicle. This is called a varicocele. To be sure you have one of these conditions and not a tumor; you need to have a doctor examine you. The doctor may order an ultrasound exam, this is an easy and painless way of finding a tumor.
If you choose to examine your testicles, you will become familiar with what is normal and what is different. Always report any changes to your doctor without delay. Remember that only a doctor can make a positive diagnosis.
Dr. Phillip J. Alliotta of Medical Director Main Urology Associates, shows us how to properly perform a testicular self-examination.