As of May 2018 the American Cancer Society reports that 1 in every 250 men will be affected by testicular cancer sometime in their lifetime. Now, when you look at the statistics for women’s breast cancer (1 in every 8 women) you might not consider your own average as a reason for alarm. But—as a generally unlucky person—this average was enough for me to want to learn how to properly perform a self-exam of my “boys”.

How To Fondle Yourself for Medical Purposes

Performing a self-exam is exceptionally easy but let’s break it down into baby steps:

Keep in mind that even if you do find a lump, node, or enlargement this doesn’t mean anything other than that you need to go in as soon as possible to your primary care doctor to run a few tests. Try not to panic.

  1. Pull your penis out of the way with your non-dominant hand so that you are able to see your testicles unobstructed.
  2. With your dominant hand grasp your right testicle and gently massage and roll it between your fingers. You’re checking to see if there are any painless lumps or bumps, or if you feel fluid build up or enlargement anywhere.
  3. Next, pull taut the testicle by gently pinching the skin of your scrotum and pulling it against the testicle. Examine your testicle visually. Again, you’re looking for lumps and bumps and enlargement but also for any strange discoloring or a strange shape of the testicle.
  4. Repeat these steps for your left testicle. 

If you’re having difficulty you can always ask a sexual partner to assist you. And of course you can tell them that it’s all for medical purposes that they should massage and rub your balls. Self-exam time can quickly turn into sexy time if you play your cards right!

Also Keep an Eye Out For…

Testicular cancer can manifest in many other ways as well. So, while you’re performing your self-exam always ask yourself whether you are or have experienced any of the following lately:

  • Pain/discomfort of the testicles;
  • Ache in lower abdomen and/or groin area;
  • Fluid build up in scrotum (this can also manifest a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum);
  • Enlarged and/or tender breasts;
  • Noticeable and/or sudden loss of sex drive.

How Worried About Testicular Cancer Should I Be?

 Truthfully? Not very. When caught early testicular cancer is highly treatable. In most cases it calls for a relatively minor surgery that results in the removal of the affected testicle. As a follow-up doctors might order a round of radiation therapy to ensure the destruction of those cancer cells. In more advanced cases—typically when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body—chemotherapy is employed. Chemotherapy is highly effective against testicular cancer and increases the survival rate to 73%.

 Early state testicular cancer is highly treatable and generally requires some of the least invasive cancer treatments being utilized today.