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Checking your Testicles

When to Contact your GP

It is important to see your GP as soon as possible after finding any abnormalities. Your GP can examine your testicles and tell you if you need any further treatment.

Further Information

You can find further information on testicular cancer from the following sources:
Your GP can provide you with information and practical assessment.
NHS Choices: Tel 111 nhs.uk Cancer Research: Tel 0808 800 4040

Why Check Your Testicles?

Testicular cancer is one of the less common cancers, accounting for around 1% of all cancers occurring in men. It mainly affects men aged between 15 and 44.
Although relatively uncommon, it is important to check your testicles regularly. Being aware of how they look and feel will help you recognise any changes, swelling or abnormalities at an early stage.
Around 96% of lumps found in the testicles are not cancerous, but it’s important to have any abnormalities checked by your GP.

How to Check your Testicles

A good time to check your testicles is after a warm bath or shower, when the scrotal skin is relaxed.
Hold your scrotum in the palms of your hands, so that you can use the fingers and thumb on both hands to examine your testicles. Note the size and weight of the testicles. It’s common to have one testicle slightly larger, or that hangs lower than the other. But any noticeable increase in size or weight should be discussed with your GP.
Gently feel each testicle individually. They should be smooth with no lumps or swellings. It is unusual to develop cancer in both testicles at the same time. So if you are wondering whether a testicle is feeling normal or not you can compare it with the other.
Remember that if you do find a swelling in your testicle, make an appointment and have it checked by your doctor as soon as possible.

Changes in the Testicles

When checking your testicles, did you notice any of the following?
A lump or swelling in either testicle
A dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
A feeling of heaviness in your scrotum
A dull ache in your lower abdomen (stomach area)
A sudden collection of fluid in your scrotum (hydrocele)
Fatigue/ a general feeling of being unwell
If you answered yes to any of the questions above, the NHS advise that you make an appointment with your GP as soon as possible.