I referred Jeremy to a surgeon who repaired the hernia without complications. But the take-home message is clear. If something else had been causing the swelling, such as testicular cancer, not telling anyone about it for months might have had a different outcome.
Although testicular cancer is rare (5.4 cases per 100,000 males), it is the most common cancer in males aged 15 to 39. Because the incidence of testicular cancer is low, there is disagreement among medical professionals regarding the value of monthly screening. That being said, the survival rate for Stage 1 testicular cancer is better than advanced disease.
The best time to do the exam is after a shower when the scrotum is relaxed.
- Examine one testicle at a time.
- Using gentle pressure, roll each testicle between your thumb and fingers. Testicles are egg-shaped and should feel smooth and firm. One may be slightly bigger than the other, but they should be about the same weight and consistency.
- Feel for small lumps, swelling, hardness or other changes in the shape of the testicle.
- The epididymis is a spongy, tube-like structure that is attached to the top and back of each testicle. It is a normal finding.
- If you notice a change in either testicle, see your doctor promptly.