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Testicular Self-Exam (TSE)
by Mary Calvagna, MS
A testicular self-exam is a way for men to notice any changes, lumps, or abnormalities in their testicles. These changes may be a sign of testicular cancer. Since the benefits are not clear, many professional organizations, including the American Cancer Society do not make specific recommendations about regular testicular self-exams for all men.
In most cases, you will have a testicular exam during regular check-ups (generally every 1-3 years). Talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of monthly self-exams. You may be advised to do monthy self-exams if you are considered at high risk for testicular cancer.
You may be considered high-risk if you have:
If your doctor recommends doing monthly self-exams, follow the steps below.
Steps for a Testicular Self-exam TOP
If you notice any changes, lumps, or other abnormalities, see your doctor right away.
In addition, if you feel aching in the lower abdomen or groin, or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, tell your doctor. This may be a warning sign of cancer.
American Cancer Society
Urology Care Foundation
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Rovito MJ, Gordon TF, et al. Perceptions of testicular cancer and testicular self-examination among college men: A report on intention, vulnerability, and promotional material preferences. Am J Mens Health. 2011;5(6):500-507.
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Testicular cancer. American Cancer Society website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Updated February 12, 2016. Accessed December 30, 2016.
Zoltick BH. Shedding light on testicular cancer. Nurse Pract. 2011;36(7):32-39.
Last reviewed December 2016 by Michael Woods, MD
Last Updated: 1/6/2015
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