Testicular cancer screening is currently limited to manual examinations, including self-exams done at home and professional exams performed in a physician’s office. Manual examinations can help pinpoint any abnormal growths that could potentially be problematic and can also help indicate when further testing might be necessary. To examine the testicles at home, men are advised to:
- Move the penis to the side and examine one testicle at a time (preferably right after a bath or shower, when the skin of the scrotum is relaxed)
- Hold a testicle between the thumb and fingers and gently roll it from side to side
- Take special note of any changes in the size, shape or consistency of the testicles, while remembering that it is normal for one testicle to be larger and lower than the other
- Report any unusual developments to a physician
Although manual examinations may seem less sophisticated than the blood tests and cell tests that are usually used to screen for other forms of cancer, they are generally seen as sufficient testicular cancer screening methods. That’s because testicular cancers can typically be cured, regardless of the stage in which they are diagnosed. Early-stage cancers may be eligible for a wide range of treatments (and therefore may be easier to treat), but advanced screening methods are unlikely to provide notable improvements in survival rates or quality of life. Men who have an elevated risk of testicular cancer can turn to Moffitt Cancer Center’s Urologic Oncology Program for more information about testicular cancer symptoms, screening options and diagnostic techniques. To make an appointment with one of our specialized oncologists, call 1-888-663-3488 or register online for an appointment.