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Testicular Self-Examination (TSE)

A testicular self-examination is an examination of the testicles to help detect testicular cancer in the early stages. It is important to do testicular exams every month in order to detect any abnormalities.

The best time to examine your testicles is right after a hot bath or shower. The scrotal skin is most relaxed at this time and the testicles can be felt more easily. The exam should be done while standing and will only takes few minutes.

How to do a testicular self-exam:

  • Examine the scrotum visually for swelling
  • Gently feel the scrotal sac to locate a testicle
  • Examine each testicle separately by firmly and gently rolling each testicle between the thumb and fingers of both hands to examine the entire surface
  • It is important to note that it is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other and to feel a cord-like structure - the epididymis - on the top and back of each testicle

If you find a small hard lump (pea-size), swelling or notice any other concerning differences, contact your urologist as soon as you can. Also, have your physician evaluate you if you experience pain or tenderness.

Reviewed January 2011

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Testicular Cancer: Testicular Self-Examination (TSE) Glossary
  • cancer: An abnormal growth that can invade nearby structures and spread to other parts of the body and may be a threat to life.

  • epididymis: A coiled tube attached to the back and upper side of the testicle that stores sperm and is connected to the vas deferens

  • scrotal: Relating to the scrotum, the sac of tissue that hangs below the penis and contains the testicles.

  • scrotal: Relating to the scrotum, the sac of tissue that hangs below the penis and contains the testicles.

  • scrotal sac: Also referred to as the scrotum. The sac of tissue that hangs below the penis and contains the testicles.

  • scrotum: Also referred to as the scrotal sac. The sac of tissue that hangs below the penis and contains the testicles.

  • stage: Classification of the progress of a disease.

  • testicle: Also known as testis. Either of the paired, egg-shaped glands contained in a pouch (scrotum) below the penis. They produce sperm and the male hormone testosterone.

  • testicular: Relating to the testicle (testis).

  • testicular cancer: Cancer of the testis.

  • urologist: A doctor who specializes in diseases of the male and female urinary systems and the male reproductive system. Click here to learn more about urologists. (Download the free Acrobat reader.)

  • vas: Also referred to as vas deferens. The cordlike structure that carries sperm from the testicle to the urethra.

Testicular Cancer: Testicular Self-Examination (TSE) Anatomical Drawings

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