Day 4: Testicular Exam

4 Sep

“Attention restaurant customers: Testicles. That is all.” –Peter Griffin

John Kruk checked his balls, beat cancer, and almost won the World Series. Do it!

Today’s Mission: Today we’re going to examine ourselves. And by ourselves, I mean our balls. Why, you may be asking, are we doing this today? Well, testicular cancer is the most common malignancy in young men between the ages of 20 and 34. It’s also is the number one cancer killer among men in this same age group.

The good news is that if detected early, testicular cancer is almost always curable. But in order to detect cancer, you need to know what to look for and also how to look for it.

This is the sole mission over the next 30 days that could save my life – or yours.  If someone told me 10 years ago that I’d be writing about my testicles on the internet someday I would’ve said, “No kidding?  Nuts!” Jokes aside, this is a damn important mission for all male readers.

Read the instructions below for the basics of the self-exam.  Still hesitant?  Tell your significant other that you’re proactively looking after your own health.  They will be pleased…and they might even offer to help!

Testicular Self-Exam Basics

Perform at least once a month. It’s best to perform the exam right after a hot shower.

1. Stand in front of a mirror and check for any swelling on the scrotum’s skin.

2. Exam each testicle with both hands by rolling the testicle gently but firmly between your thumb and fingers. Don’t worry if one testicle feels larger than the other. That’s completely normal. Fast fact: A man’s left testicle is usually larger than the right one. While you’re rolling each testicle in your hands, look for hard lumps on the surface of it.

3. Don’t confuse the epididymis for a lump. The epididymis is the spongy, tube-like structure that collects and carries your sperm to the prostate. You can feel the epididymis on the top and down the back side of each testicle. This isn’t the sort of lump you’re looking for.

General Anthony Clement McAuliffe famously rejected German calls for surrender by writing the note, "To the German Commander, NUTS!, The American Commander" during the Battle of the Bulge.

4. If you notice any sort of hard lump on your testicle, don’t freak out yet. Just contact your doctor immediately. Complete and accurate diagnosis can only be performed by a trained medical physician.

In addition to lumps on the surface of your testes, be on the look out for these signs of other problems:

•    Sudden acute pain during the self-examination could mean you have an infection in the epididymis or it could mean the spermatic chord is twisted up and blocking blood flow to your testicles. If you feel pain during the exam, go see the doctor.

•    You feel a soft collection of thin tubes above or behind your testicles. It’s often described as feeling like a “bag of worms.” This may indicate a varicocele.

More information at the Testicular Cancer Research Center.

I’m in the clear – this calls for a beer.

Full Mission Briefing:
Testicular Self-Exam
(via The Art of Manliness)


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