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    Testicular Self Examination
    Testicular self examination (TSE) is a technique for detecting the early stages of testicular cancer. This worrying condition which can develop in men of all ages, most often occurs in males between 15-40 years old. Modern, improved methods of treatment mean that the chances of being cured are high, but treatment is most effective when the cancer is detected as early as possible.

    The following steps should be performed regularly each month and are best done during a warm bath or shower. This is because heat relaxes the skin on the scrotum, making examination easier.

    • Support the scrotum in the palm of the hand and assess the size and weight of the testicles. Any noticeable increase in size or weight may indicate something is wrong (it is perfectly normal to have one testicle slightly larger than the other, or one that hangs lower down).
    • Examine each testicle in turn using both hands. Gently roll the testicle between fingers and thumb. Normally, testicles have a smooth surface, so check for any lumps or irregular swellings. Also feel for changes in firmness. As it is very rare for cancer to develop in both testicles, you can check for changes in one by comparing it to the other.
    • Don't mistake the epididymis for an abnormality. The epididymis is a large irregular structure that lies along the top and back of the testicle. In a warm bath or shower, it can easily be separated from the testicle.
    • Other warning signs of testicular cancer can include a general sensation of heaviness in the scrotum or a dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin. In some cases, swelling can occur in the chest area, particularly around the nipples.

    Testicular cancer is potentially a serious illness. However it can be cured if it is detected early enough. You should not wait to see if the symptoms disappear nor should you be embarrassed about asking for help. If any of the symptoms are present, you should contact your GP as soon as possible. Often these signs may be caused by other common and less serious conditions, but nonetheless a doctor should assess what exactly the problem is.

    Testicular cancer and self-examination are reviewed with customers who attend a Nuffield Hospitals Health Screening. For more details click here.

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