Finding testicular cancer early

Lots of people talk about checking themselves to try and spot cancer early.  It’s good to be aware of what your body is normally like, so it’s easier to notice if anything changes.

Checking yourself for symptoms of cancer is different to cancer screening. Screening means testing people for early stages of a disease before they have any symptoms. There is no national screening programme for testicular cancer in the UK.

How do I check for testicular cancer?

You know your body best. If you notice anything that’s unusual for you, or won’t go away, make an appointment to speak to your doctor. Cancers are easier to treat when they are found early.

It's useful to know how your body normally looks and feels, and this includes your testicles. This makes it easier for you to notice any changes.

It’s a good idea to look at and feel your testicles every now and then. But there’s no need to worry about doing it regularly in a set way at a set time. There’s no good evidence to suggest that regularly self-checking any part of your body in a set way is helpful. It can actually do more harm than good, by picking up things which wouldn’t have gone on to cause you problems.

Check your testicles for:

  • the size and weight
  • any lumps or swellings
When to see your doctor

You should see your doctor if you have:

  • an unusual lump or swelling in part of one testicle
  • a sharp pain in the testicle or scrotum
  • a heavy scrotum
  • an increase in the firmness or feel
  • an unusual difference between one testicle and the other

Your symptoms are unlikely to be cancer but it's important to get them checked by a doctor.

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