This examination is best performed after a warm bath or shower. The heat relaxes the scrotum and makes it easier to find anything unusual.
■ Standing in front of a mirror, check for any swelling on the skin of the scrotum.
■ Examine each testicle with both hands. Cup the index and middle fingers under the testicle and place the thumbs on top.
■ Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers. One testicle may be larger than the other . . . that's normal, but be concerned about any lump or area of pain.
■ Find the epididymis. This is a soft, tubelike structure at the back of the testicle that collects and carries sperm, not an abnormal lump.
■ If you find any lump, don't wait. See your doctor. The lump may just be an infection, but if it is cancer, it will spread unless stopped by treatment.
*Adapted from the National Cancer Institute. Rex.nih.gov/WTNK PUBS/testicular/testexam.htm.
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