Finding testicular cancer early

Last medical review:

When testicular cancer is found and treated early, the chances of successful treatment are better. Get regular health checkups and see your doctor if you have any symptoms or are worried about your health.

You may be embarrassed or uncomfortable with the idea of talking to a doctor about your testicles. Don't be. Try reminding yourself that testicles are just another body part to doctors. They are used to answering questions and concerns about all your parts.

Knowing your testicles

It's important to know what is normal for your testicles so that you can notice any changes and ask your doctor about them. Many testicular cancers are found by noticing changes in the testicles.

The best time to feel the testicles and find out what feels normal is just after a warm bath or shower. The heat from the water makes the testicles move lower and relaxes the skin of the scrotum.

Carefully feel each testicle for any changes, such as a lump or tenderness. At the back of each testicle is a tube (called the epididymis) that collects and carries sperm. It is normal for this tube to feel like a soft cord or a small bump. It is also normal for one testicle to be consistently larger than the other.

If you find a change, report it to a doctor as soon as possible. The doctor may order tests to find out what the change could mean.

Expert review and references

  • Canadian Cancer Society | Société canadienne du cancer
  • American Cancer Society . Can Testicular Cancer Be Found Early . 2018 : https://www.cancer.org/.
  • Cancer Research UK. Risks and Causes. 2018: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/.
  • American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO). Cancer.net: Testicular Cancer: Screening. 2020: https://www.cancer.net/.
  • PDQ Screening and Prevention Editorial Board. Testicular Cancer Screening (PDQ®) – Health Professional Version. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 2021: https://www.cancer.gov/.
  • PDQ Screening and Prevention Editorial Board. Testicular Cancer Screening (PDQ®) – Patient Version. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute; 2019: https://www.cancer.gov/.