• Dr Chris George

Movember – talking all things testicular cancer for men’s health

Over 98% of testicular cancers are cured in the UK each year but sadly 1 in 20 men will die due to their cancer. Whilst the chance of a cure is high why are young men not talking about it and seeking medical advice at an earlier stage?

In the UK 2,400 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer each year. Unfortunately, this rate is on the rise with twice as many men being diagnosed with testicular cancer as in the mid-70s. There is a lot of fear and embarrassment when coming forward with testicular symptoms in men.

Testicular cancer is however the most common type of cancer in those aged 15-49 years old with the peak rate being in men aged 25-35 years of age. It is therefore important that men overcome the barriers to accessing health care so they can get the necessary treatment to save their lives.

What does ‘normal’ feel and look like?

Firstly, it’s important to say that there is no one hat fits all… Everyone has slightly different sized and shaped testes. It is perfectly ‘normal’ for there to be a degree of asymmetry as symmetry in nature is quite rare. Therefore, one teste may be slightly lower or bigger than the other. The main thing to appreciate and get to know is what ‘normal’ looks and feels like for you.

Importantly, regular self-examinations help to establish what ‘normal’ is for you and identify any new changes early. If you do notice any changes t

hen try not to panic and but book an urgent appointment with your medical practitioner who will want to take a history and carry out an examination.

Testicles should however feel smooth without any lumps or bumps. They should also be firm but not hard. It is normal to feel a swelling a bit like a tube at the back of the testicles, this is known as the epididymis.

When to speak to a doctor?

There are lots of different benign (non-worrying) causes for testicular swelling, but it is important to get things checked out if you are concerned, notice a lump or any new changes. The earlier that you get things checked the better as it often helps reduce anxiety and provides reassurance.

How to examine yourself

Here, are some tips on how to examine yourself by the team at Movember

*insert photo from blog/Movember