How to check for testicular cancer: 3 easy steps to do in the shower

Written by Mojo, medically reviewed
by Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

Two young men talking about how to check your balls for testicular cancer

When the upper lips of men everywhere get decked out with a fresh set of bristles, it can only mean one thing. No, you haven’t woken up in a 70’s porno. It’s Movember. 

There’s a serious message behind all the extra moustaches. Men’s health matters, and serious issues like testicular cancer shouldn’t be brushed under the rug. 

So today we’re taking the matter in hand (literally), and will be showing you how to check your balls for testicular cancer in just 3 quick steps.

Why is it so important to check your balls?

Research reveals that testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer to affect young guys (ages 15-49).

The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 33, and approximately 1 of every 250 men will develop testicular cancer at some point during their lifetime, according to Cancer.org

When it’s caught early, it’s highly treatable and highly curable and a man’s lifetime risk of dying from testicular cancer is very low: about 1 in 5,000.

However, 62% of those most vulnerable to testicular cancer don’t know how to check themselves. That matters because later diagnosis increases the risk of cancer spreading and becoming more serious. 

But, the good news is, it only takes a minute to give yourself a life-saving check over. 

What to look for: testicular cancer symptoms

Our bodies go through natural changes and so do your balls. Not all irregularities are caused by testicular cancer. But it’s important to visit your doctor if you feel any of the following symptoms: 

  • a painless swelling or lump in 1 of your testicles (this could be about the size of a pea, but it might be larger)
  • any change in shape or texture of the testicles
  • an increase in the firmness of a testicle
  • a difference in appearance between 1 testicle and the other

There are also some symptoms you can’t feel but shouldn’t ignore. These include: 

  • a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, which may come and go
  • a feeling of heaviness in your scrotum

If you experience any other changes or symptoms you don’t see on this list, go and see your doctor anyway. They won’t think you’re wasting their time, and trust us, seeing your balls is not awkward for them. 

“We want to see you as soon as possible, because if there is something there, catching it early makes such a huge difference. And if there isn’t, knowing there’s nothing to worry about can lift a huge weight from your shoulders.

And if the idea of a downstairs examination for testicular cancer is putting you off, don’t even think about it. Honestly, nothing you have could phase us. We’ve seen more balls than a tennis player.”

Dr Matthew Chan, Medical Doctor

How to check your balls for testicular cancer

Step 1: Relax and get steamy

It’s easier to detect any abnormalities when your testicles are warm and relaxed. That’s why we recommend checking your balls in the shower or bath. The warm water will loosen the skin and take your balls away from the body, so you can have a good feel around.

Step 2: Roll your first ball

Take your first testicle between your index finger and thumb. Applying gentle pressure, give it a good roll around. Check for anything that doesn’t feel normal – including lumps, bumps, painful areas or any of the other symptoms listed above.

Step 3: Roll your second ball

Head over to the other side and give your other testicle the same treatment. Remember, your balls don’t have to be exactly the same size or weight to be normal. Normal in this context means what’s normal for you.

All done! Now rinse and repeat once a month 

You might not know the exact dimensions of your danglers, which places you among the 70% of guys who say they don’t check their nuts at all, research tells us

But why not help change this stat, by having a feel in your next shower? 

As we mentioned, everyone’s pair is unique so getting to know your balls can help you identify when something doesn’t feel quite right. This can be key to spotting the early signs of testicular cancer.

So, try to check once a month or so. 

Final tip: why not time it to payday? A topped up bank balance and normal feeling balls = kerching!  

Want to know more about your equipment?

Your balls are part of a bigger action movie, with a whole cast of characters and so much going on behind-the-scenes. 

Knowing more about your reproductive system can help you stay healthy and enjoy better sex as well. We’ve found knowing the many connections between your mind, body and sex organs has helped countless guys keep their erections in shape, and opened them up to stronger orgasms too. 

So, if you’d like to know more about your anatomy, we’ve got you covered.

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Mojo aims to provide useful wellbeing resources to its users; however, you should not solely rely on opinions or advice available on the Website or given by the Community. Always seek advice from a qualified medical doctor or other healthcare professional before acting.