Excerpt from "GUIDE TO GETTING IT ON"
By Dr. Paul Joannides
It is wise to do a ball check once a month. The best time to check your testicles is during or after a warm shower--but not when you have an erection. (Erections can pull your testicles up and make them difficult to examine.)
One of the things you are looking for are changes since the last time you examined your testicles, so it's important to get a baseline or sense of what your testicles are usually like.
Use both hands. Grab a testicle.
There are a couple of spaghetti-like cords that attach to each testicle at the back, toward the top. They are called the epididymis. They form a structure that is shaped like a comma. These might be fuller if you haven't ejaculated in a while. It may feel a little strange, but check out your comma for any small nodes, lumps or changes since the last time you checked.
Roll the testicle between your fingers. You are looking for any bumps or lumps. They can be smaller than a pea. Check the sides really well, and the top and bottom.
The most common symptom to look for is a small lump or nodule on the side or sometimes the front of the testicle. It’s usually not painful when you press on it. A change in texture or firmness should also be checked out by a healthcare professional, even if you don't feel any nodes.
Squeeze the testicle a bit. It should feel somewhat spongy. Be aware if a testicle becomes extra firm or tender or starts to lose its spongy texture. Also note if the testicle is larger or smaller or heavier than it used to be.
It’s time to get a testicle checked if the entire testicle starts to lose its spongy texture or feels like it's hardening. Less common symptoms include pain or discomfort in the testicles, back pain, swollen breasts (guy breasts), or a kind of heaviness or unusual discomfort deep in your pelvis.
Most of the things you will find in a scrotum besides testicles aren’t cancer and can often be treated with antibiotics. So if you do find something worrisome, don’t assume that your doctor is going to present you with bad news. One condition that can feel like cancer of the testicles is a spermatocele. This is a sperm-filled cyst in the epididymis that feels like a smaller third ball. These are pretty common and aren’t usually a problem unless they get kind of big.
Now, grab your other testicle, and have at it.
If either testicle has any nodes, bumps or lumps, take it to a physician for a checkup. Chances are, it is only a cyst or infection, but that needs attention, too.
CONGRATULATIONS! You are done. Now go grab some lube, visit your favorite website and liberate a few million sperm.
BALL NOTES If you ever get popped in the testicles, and the pain lasts for more than ten minutes, have them checked by a physician. If not treated quickly, testicle trauma can cause your huevos to become sterile. Also, one ball is usually bigger than the other. Nature made them that way.
Cancer of the TesticlesThe term “cancer of the testicles” is a misnomer. It should be cancer of the testicle (singular), given how it’s usually only one testicle that gets the cancer. Fortunately, we only one testicle to be fertile and to have a perfectly normal sex drive. The reason for having the other testicle is for playing pocket pool, or for back-up.
Anyone with testicles can get testicular cancer, but it is more likely to affect younger men, particularly men between the ages of 15 and 35. It is curable 97% of the time if detected early enough.
Considering that the testicles are hanging out and easily examined, you would think that cancer of the testicles is almost always detected early. But the last thing a guy between the ages of 15 and 35 usually thinks about is the possibility of getting cancer.
It is often a partner who discovers the cancer, which can be a lifesaver. Hopefully, women readers will learn how to examine their partners' testicles in the name of health as well as pleasure, and it's important to insist that a partner see a healthcare provider if something worrisome pops up. (If you are gay or on the down low, take a few minutes every month to play doctor with your most conscientious guy friend.)
The absolute mother of all testicular-cancer websites is Doug Bank's incredible Testicular Cancer Resource Center.
Another very thorough and helpful site for men with cancer of the testicles and their families isTC-Cancer.com.