CHANGE IN TESTICLES COULD BE A SIGN OF CANCER
Submitted by: Marc C. Gittelman, M.D.
Submitted on: June 21, 2005
Q: I just checked the family jewels in the shower and I noticed a lump on one side. Should I wait to see what happens or go see a doctor?
A: Run, don’t walk, to your family physician or urologists. You’ll be examined and undergo a blood test and an ultrasound to determine whether you have something that may be suspicious for a testicular cancer, which is diagnosed in a small percentage of men.
Men in their 20s and 30s are most vulnerable, but even men in their 50s can be diagnosed with a testicular tumor. New medical treatments with surgery (yes, surgery), radiation, and chemotherapy have boosted the cure rate for testicular cancer and now it’s one of the most easily cured cancers in the body. But the earlier the tumor is found the easier the treatment is and the better chances for total cure.
My recommendation is for all men to do a self examination monthly to look for any changes in their testicles. The shower is the best place for an exam because hot water “relaxes” the scrotal sac and soapy water makes for a more sensitive exam to appreciate some of the subtle changes that can be felt in the texture of the testicles. One way to spice up this little diagnostic session is to teach your lover how to do this monthly ritual. But once you’re both in the shower don’t forget to do the exam!