Check your balls against testicular cancer.
Remember when old people said you’d go blind and grow hair on your palms if you touched your junk? Turns out they were wrong. In fact, it’s super important to check up on your boys from time to time because they’re totally susceptible to cancer, but if you find it early enough it’s almost 100% curable.
Listen, cancer isn’t embarrassed about going down there so why should you be? The craziest thing is that very few cancers can be so successfully treated, so we’ve decided to give you a step-by-step guide on how to inspect your little guys for lumps.
Start checking early
Surprisingly, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 34 (although other age groups are still susceptible). While testicular cancer is rare, it’s important to understand that this isn’t your grandfather’s disease we’re talking about. Generally speaking, this is a young man’s issue, so you’ve gotta start dealing with it. Keeping that in mind, if you’re 15 years or older it’s time you start checking your balls.
There really is no golden rule as to how often you should check your balls for testicular lumps. But realistically, once a month should do. Doing so will make you familiar with the shape, size and feel of your testicles so that you can more easily detect any changes.
Prepare your balls for inspection
The best time to check your balls is during or after a warm shower or bath. The warm water allows the scrotum to relax and the testicles to drop down for easy inspection.
Examine one testicle at a time
Using both hands, gently roll each testicle (with slight pressure) between your fingers. To do this, place your thumbs over the top of your testicle, then, with the index and middle fingers of each hand behind the testicle, roll the testicle between your fingers.
Know what your balls feel like
Your testicles should feel firm and smooth, about the consistency of a hard-boiled egg except without the egg shell. Remember that one is slightly larger than the other (usually the right) and will hang lower – this is completely normal.
Know what’s normal
You may feel the epididymis, which is a soft, rope-like tube located at the top of the back of each testicle. This is a normal lump.
Know what’s abnormal
When examining each testicle, feel for any firm masses, lumps or nodules along the front or sides. Lumps may be as small as a piece of rice or a pea and they are often painless.
WHEN IN DOUBT, GET IT CHECKED OUT
If you do notice something abnormal, don’t hesitate to have it checked out by a doctor (preferably a urologist) right away. It’s not always cancerous – there are other causes of lumps – but when in doubt, get it checked out. The worst that will come of a check-up is a little embarrassment, but that for sure beats ending up with cancer.