How to Do a Testicular Self Exam

Doctor talking to male patient
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Just as women need to do a monthly breast self exam(BSE), men need to do a self examination of their testicles. The testicular self exam helps men detect growths that could potentially be cancerous. Caught in the early stages, testicular cancer is almost always treatable.

Testicular cancer can be diagnosed in young men as young as 15 years of age. It is important for young males to learn about testicular health and the importance of doing a TSE regularly.

Difficulty: Average

Time Required: 10 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Stand naked in front of a full length mirror. Elevate one leg to get a better view of the scrotum. Look for any swelling on the skin of the scrotum.
  2. Now, carefully examine each testicle with both hands. Using your thumb and fingers, roll each testicle around. Feel for any lumps. They can be as small as a pea, painful, painless, or tender.
  3. Be sure to examine both testicles. Remember that it is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other or hang a little lower.


  1. Perform the exam after a warm bath or shower. This allows the scrotum to relax, making it easier to find lumps or masses.
  2. Be sure to perform the exam every month.
  3. Always report any abnormal findings to your doctor. Lumps may be painless or painful. Both still require medical examination. Do not wait to see if lumps go away on their own. Early reporting to your doctor equals early detection. When caught early, testicular cancer is often curable.
  1. You will find the cord-like structure on the top and back of the testicles. This is called the epididymis and is completely normal. This is not to be confused with a lump.

    "Can Testicular Cancer be Found Early?". Detailed Guide: Testicular Cancer. American Cancer Society. 14 Nov 2007. Accessed 28 June 2008.

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