Student Health Center

Testicular self exam

Cancer of the testicle is rare but it is the most common cancer found in men between the ages of 15 and 35. Testicular cancer may not cause any obvious symptoms and is often painless, so it is important to learn and practice monthly testicular self-exam (TSE). Found early, testicular cancer is usually curable.

How do I examine my testicles?

  • The best time to examine yourself is after a warm shower or bath when the scrotum is soft and the testicles relaxed
  • Roll each testicle between the thumbs and fingers of both hands
  • The testicles should feel firm and smooth- about the consistency of a hard boiled egg
  • One testicle may be slightly larger than the other or hang lower in the scrotum. This is normal
  • Feel for any lumps, hardness, swelling or significant enlargement in one testicle and not the other
  • Feel your groin on both sides for any swelling or lumps that might indicate swollen glands

When should I make an appointment to be checked?

You should be checked as soon as possible if you notice:

  • One testicle is larger or harder than the other
  • A lump on the testicle
  • Swelling or a feeling of heaviness in the testicle or scrotum
  • A persistent dull ache in the lower abdomen or groin
  • A swelling or lump in the groin
  • Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts

What if I find a lump or other problem?

Try not to panic! Make an appointment with a medical provider as soon as possible for an evaluation. Remember: not every lump is cancer. Testicular cancers found early are usually curable.

Where can I get more information?

Learn how to do TSE by making an appointment with a SHC provider (a male provider can be requested, if preferred). We can also provide printed materials that address menís health issues and TSE. Also:

The Testicular Cancer Resource Center


One Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY 14623-5603
Questions or comments? Send us feedback. Telephone: 585-475-2411