Put your boys first. And by boys, we definitely mean your testicles.
April is Testicular Cancer Awareness month, so if there was ever a time to talk about your junk, that time is now.
In all honesty though, that time is always. April may be the month that we highlight the awareness part, but your body is your body year-round.
Testicular cancer is relatively rare; however, it is most commonly detected in men between the ages of 15 and 35.
When you hear the words “testicular cancer” it may feel like something to laugh about.
We get it. Balls are funny.
But when you are the one diagnosed with testicular cancer, it doesn’t feel funny at all. It probably feels awkward, embarrassing, and maybe even scary.
The good news: testicular cancer is highly treatable and curable.
It just needs to be detected. And the sooner the better.
You can perform self-exams on a regular basis so you can keep tabs on any changes or abnormalities.
Self-exams are highly recommended to detect breast cancer, but guys aren’t typically instructed to feel around down there to check for lumps.
Let’s change that.
If you don’t have any problem scratching yourself in public, then this should be a breeze.
- During or after a warm bath or shower, cup one testicle at a time using both hands
- Use slight pressure to roll the testicle between the thumb and fingers
- Feel for any lumps, changes in size or color, or other abnormalities
- Contact your doctor if anything seems out of the ordinary
If you do not feel uncomfortable performing self-exams, that’s ok. Just remember that by being aware of changes in your body, you take control so that you can seek treatment and continue to live a healthy life.
Allow us to set the record straight on testicular cancer. It is also ok to talk about it. It’s also ok to have a sense of humor about it. Testicular cancer only accounts for about 1% of cancer in men, so it’s pretty rare. But just because something is rare doesn’t mean it isn’t worth being aware.
The most common symptom associated with testicular cancer is swelling or discomfort in the scrotum (more commonly known as a sack).
You should take the next step to receive an accurate diagnosis if you are experiencing any of the following:
- Lumps or tumors in the area
- Testicular pain or swelling
- Undescended testis
Scrotal ultrasounds are painless. This non-invasive test uses sound waves to produce an image of the testicles and the surrounding tissue. Yes, it is a trip to the doctor and there is probably a lengthy list of other things you would prefer to do with your time.
That said, your boys matter and you deserve to put them—and your overall health—first.