Although it’s the most common cancers that affect young men, testicular cancer is relatively rare. And, like with most types of cancer, early detection is the key to beating it. However, men rarely get screened for this type of cancer, and many of them don’t even know how to perform a self-exam.
So, here is how you can check yourself for testicular cancer.
Things to Know about Testicular Cancer
Around 8,800 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. every year. And, while it’s a pretty rare type of cancer compared to colon or breast cancer, it is still the most commonly diagnosed cancer for men aged between 15 and 44. In the past couple of decades, the number of cases has been rising, but the number of deaths has been slowly declining.
Common risk factors for the condition include:
- A family history of the disease;
- An undescended testicle;
- Abnormal testicle development;
- Age (men aged between 15 and 35 are at a higher risk).
How Can You Check Yourself for Testicular Cancer
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force currently doesn’t recommend that men get regular screenings for testicular cancer. This is because there are virtually no benefits for screening and there is a risk of false positives which can cause anxiety.
However, you can easily perform a self-check. To do it, you need to hold the top of one of your testicles between the thumb and other fingers. Then roll the testicle gently and try to feel any lumps. Do this again for your other testicle.
If you fall under the risky demographic, you may want to perform self-checks more often. Contact your doctor if you feel any lumps or abnormal growths during your self-check, so he or she can exclude the possibility of testicular cancer.