Testicular cancer accounts for only about 1% of all cancers in men. But taking for granted your manly health should not be an option, especially when it’s so easy to get yourself checked. The testicular self-examination (TSE) is an easy way for guys to check their own testicles to make sure there aren’t any unusual lumps or bumps — which can be the first sign of testicular cancer.
The Testicular Self-Examination (TSE)
Although testicular cancer is rare in teenage guys, overall it is the most common cancer in males between the ages of 15 and 35. It’s important to try to do a TSE every month so you can become familiar with the normal size and shape of your testicles, making it easier to tell if something feels different or abnormal in the future.
Follow these steps to conduct a TSE:
1. This is best done after a warm shower when your scrotum is relaxed. If possible, stand in front of a mirror. Check your scrotal skin for any swelling.
2. Examine each testicle with both your hands. Place your middle and index finger under your testicle and your thumb on top. Be firm, but gently roll your testicle between your thumbs and your fingers to feel for any irregularities on the surface or texture of your testicle.
3. Find your epididymis, the soft, rope-like structure on the back of the testicle. If you are familiar with this structure, you won’t mistake it for a suspicious lump.
If you notice any changes or irregularities, see a doctor as soon as possible.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)
Men and women are equally vulnerable to STIs, but men who are having sex with men (MSM) are uniquely more at risk.
According to the Department of Health’s data, over 58% of STI transmission came from male to male sex.
If you are sexually active or starting a new relationship and are interested in knowing your health status, get yourself tested immediately.
However, it is not needed unless you are showing symptoms. Learn about STIs here. If you are a man who has sex with men, know that you are more vulnerable to STIs and it is advised to have a regular check-up to know your health status.