Prevent Testicular Cancer, Encourage Self-Exams for Teen Boys

According to the National Cancer Institute, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men ages 15-34. As is true for most cancers, it is important to catch and treat the cancer early. The best way to do this is through regular self-exams.

Typically, the first signs of testicular cancer are unusual bumps or lumps. Testicular self-exams teach teen boys how their testicles normally feel, making it easier to notice any changes. Here is what they need to do:

  • It’s best to do the screening during or after a hot shower.
  • Hold the penis out of the way to examine one testicle at a time.
  • Take both hands and gently roll each testicle (with slight pressure) between the thumbs and fingers.
  • Feel for hard lumps or smooth rounded bumps along the front or sides, which may be as small as a piece of rice or a pea.
  • The epididymis (the sperm-carrying tube) located at the top of the back part of each testicle is a normal bump that feels soft and slightly tender.
  • Also check for any change in the size, shape, color, or consistency of the testicles.

Self-exams should be done about once a month at during or after a warm shower because this is when the skin of the scrotum is most relaxed. Also, boys should be aware that it’s normal for one testicle to be slightly larger and/or hang lower than the other.


If anything abnormal is found during the self-exam, a doctor should be seen right away. It could be nothing or a variety of other causes like swelling of the veins, an infection or a hernia. But, if it is testicular cancer, early diagnosis is the best chance for a cure.

(Adapted from the American Cancer Society,

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