Friday, June 22, 2007

Testicular Self Examination

Strangely enough I've never heard of a Testicular Self Examination until recently, but I've researched it and here's my presentation...

What Is TSE

Testicular Self Examination (TSE) is a personal check-up performed by males aged 15 and over, to detect any signs of a common cancer in males under the age of 40, testicular cancer (will be discussed in next post). Similarly to breast self-examination, TSE should be done at least once a month.

How To Carry Out A TSE

  1. Stand in the shower or alternatively stand in front of a mirror after having a warm shower or bath. Hold or cup your scrotum in one hand and look for any swelling on the skin around testes.
  2. Using your index, middle and 'ring' fingers, initially separate the epididymis and the testicle by squeezing gently on the top of the testicle with one hand and hold it there. Now you should be able to see the rounded (actually oval) shape of the testicle more vividly. Now using the other hand, gently roll the testicle between your fingers and feel for any lumps or unusual swelling.
  3. Make sure you've checked each testicle at least twice. Lumps can be very small so be sure to check more than once if necessary.
  4. Make a note of any change(s) you've noticed and take them with you to your next doctor visit.

Some common signs of testicular cancer:

  • Any enlargement of a testicle.
  • A significant loss of size in one of the testicles.
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum.
  • A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum.
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum.

You may ask why should you do this check-up while having a warm bath or just after and the answer is that, with response to changes in temperature, the testes may be drawn closer to the body (contraction) or be relaxed. With cold temperature, they are drawn inwards while with warm temperature, they droop (relaxation).

Performing a testicular self examination is just as important as carrying out a breast self examination so males take care of yourselves and also make it a routine to check your testes and be familiar with your personal assets. It will only take a few minutes. If you like, both you and your spouse may perform the TSE, but have it done each month. Don't forget, it's worth it!


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