Testicular exam

A testicular exam is an inspection of the appearance and feel of your testicles. You can do a testicular exam yourself, typically standing in front of a mirror.

Routine testicular exams may give you a greater awareness of the condition of your testicles and help you detect when changes occur. Testicular exams may also help you identify potential testicular problems.

If you detect lumps or other changes during a testicular exam, make an appointment with your doctor.


Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect Results

Testicular self-exams help you learn the normal feel and appearance of your testicles. That may make it more likely that you'll notice subtle changes, should they occur.

Changes in your testicles could be a sign of a common benign condition, such as an infection or a cyst, or a less common condition, such as testicular cancer.

Who should consider regular testicular exams?

It's not clear which men should consider regular testicular self-exams. Though often promoted as a way to detect testicular cancer, testicular self-exams aren't proved to reduce the risk of dying of the disease.

Testicular cancer is a relatively uncommon type of cancer. It's also highly treatable at all stages, so finding testicular cancer early doesn't make a cure more likely.

Doctors and medical organizations differ on their recommendations for testicular self-exams. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force doesn't recommend testicular self-exams because a benefit has never been proved. The American Cancer Society recommends discussing cancer-related health issues, such as testicular self-exams, with your doctor during routine checkups.

If you're concerned about your risk of testicular cancer, discuss the issue with your doctor. Together, you can decide whether regular testicular self-exams are right for you.

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