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The basic purpose of a testicular self-exam (TSE) is to detect the presence of any physical abnormalities, which may indicate serious underlying disorders such as testicular cancer. In most cases, the main motive of a TSE is to detect the presence of any lumps, which may, or may not, indicate the development of testicular cancer, which commonly affects one testicle. This disease is rare, and affects males between 15 and 34 years of age. According to experts, male teenagers must perform TSE, once they hit puberty, or reach 15 years of age. It is advised to carry out a TSE every month, so that any abnormal changes in the testicles can be easily detected.

Self-examination of Testicles
  • Before beginning the procedure, it is advisable to get a hot bath or shower. This helps the tissues of the scrotum to relax, which in turn, would make it easier to detect anomalies, if any.
  • Now, place your thumb over one testicle, and the rest of the fingers behind it.
  • Carefully roll the fingers over the surface of the testicle, to check for the presence of lumps. Check for any kind of swelling or discoloration in the testicles.
  • Repeat the procedure for the other testicle.
Results and their Interpretation
  • While you are performing the self-test, you would be able to feel the tube that carries the sperm. This tube may feel like a lump, but does not indicate any abnormality.
  • During the exam you may notice that one of the testicles is slightly larger, or located slightly lower than the other. However, this is a normal feature, and does not indicate any health concern.
  • Abnormal growths and lumps can be as small as a rice grain, or can be of the size of a pea.
  • If you come across any abnormal signs, it is advisable to report the matter to an expert.
Symptoms of Testicular Cancer
The common signs and symptoms of testicular cancer, apart from the presence of lumps in the testicles, have been provided below:
  • The scrotum feels heavy.
  • There might be a dull ache in the abdomen.
  • The affected person may feel a sudden collection in the scrotum.
  • The breasts may become tender, and this may be accompanied with pain in the testicles.
The stage of testicular cancer decides the nature of the treatment. The primary treatment includes the surgical removal of the testicles. Once the organ is removed, a prosthetic organ filled with saline is placed, if desired by the patient. In some cases, post surgery, the patient may also be treated with radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

To repeat, individuals above 15 years of age, or those who have reached puberty, must perform a TSE, once every month. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment is extremely essential to prevent further growth and spread of cancerous cells.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.