Checking Your Testicles
Checking your testicles is the easiest way to identify any problems and only takes a few minutes. The best time to check your balls is after a bath or shower when your scrotum is warm and relaxed.
It is important that you are aware of what looks and feels normal. It is normal for one testicle to hang down slightly lower than the other or to be slightly bigger. However, both should be roughly the same size and smooth to the touch.
How to Check Your Testicles
The following video explains how to check your testicles (warning: male nudity!):
Check each testicle separately using one or both hands. Roll each testicle between your thumb and forefinger. Check that the surface is free from lumps or bumps (do not squeeze).
Get to know your balls: their size, texture and structure. Identify the epididymis (sperm collecting tube) that runs behind each testicle. It is often mistaken for an abnormal lump.
If you find anything unusual, such as a lump or swelling in your testicles, you should get it checked by your GP. Most likely, it will not be testicular cancer but cancer still needs to be ruled out. Whilst 96% of abnormalities in the testicles are not cancerous, in rare circumstances some types of testicular cancer can progress quickly. You can read more on testicular cancer and non-cancerous conditions that initially look similar here.
If your GP is unsure of the exact cause of an abnormality, they will usually request an ultrasound scan of your scrotum. The ultrasound scan and referral will usually be made on an urgent basis and the results should be available within a few weeks.
If testicular cancer is present, finding it early will increase your chance of a cure. If it is not cancer, your doctor will be able to treat your condition more easily, improving your health, fertility and making you feel less worried.