How to check yourself for testicular cancer

Make sure you check out our online testicular health clinic we hosted alongside The Urology Foundation. 

Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in men aged 15 to 35 - but it can affect men of any age. Every year, 2,300 men are diagnosed with the disease in the UK and as yet, we don’t know why. Unlike some other forms of cancer, there are no clearly preventable risk factors. That makes it even more important that everyone with balls regularly checks themselves. 

The good news is that 91% of people survive the disease, with recovery rates continuing to increase. But one man a week still dies in the UK from testicular cancer, so it can be lethal.

Early detection and treatment are the best way to ensure that you make a full recovery, and you can only do that is to know what it is you’re looking for.

So without further delay, here’s a very simple, 5-step guide to checking your balls:

Step 1: Spread ‘em

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart so you’re nice and steady.

Step 2: Get rolling

Using your thumb, index and middle fingers, gently roll one testicle back and forth. You don’t need to squeeze or pinch, just a gentle feel will do.

Step 3: Feel it

Can you feel any lumps or bumps on the testicle? If so, make an appointment to see your GP ASAP.

Step 4: Gauge pain

You shouldn’t experience a lot of pain when you’re examining yourself. It might be slightly uncomfortable but if you’re feeling some pain or discomfort, that’s worth flagging. It’s worth saying that not all growths will cause pain so if even if there’s no pain but there is a lump, get it seen to.

Step 5: Go again

Repeat on the other ball.

What to do if you feel something

So you’ve found a lump. Now what? First things first, do not panic. It’s so easy to say but the very last thing you want to do is freak yourself out. Remember, if it is testicular cancer, it’ll most likely be cured and you’ll go back to your normal, everyday life.

Make an appointment to see your GP ASAP and they’ll be able to arrange an ultrasound to see how big the growth is. After that, CT scans will look to see if the cancer has spread and then you’ll be given a treatment plan.

So take a deep breath and get feeling!

Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.

Information written by the talkhealth team

Last revised: 19 June 2020
Next review: 19 June 2023