It's Good to Play With Your Nuts
At Least Once A Month
How to Check Your Nuts
Check your testicles just after you've had a bath or shower, when the muscles in the scrotum are relaxed, making it easier for you to feel any lumps, growths or tenderness. Stand in front of the mirror. Look for any swelling on the skin of your scrotum.
Hold your scrotum in your hands and feel the size and weight of each testicle. It is common for one testicle to be slightly larger or hang lower than the other.
Feel each testicle and roll it between your thumb and finger. It should feel smooth. It's normal to feel a soft, tender tube towards the back of each testicle. You shouldn't feel any pain when checking your testicles.
Once familiar with how your testicles feel, keep an eye out for any changes. If you detect a change, don’t freak out, just see a doctor as soon as possible.
By catching testicular cancer you can potentially diminish the severity of the disease. An early diagnosis can also shorten the length of treatment required. The four steps don’t take long — why not check yourself whenever there’s an opportunity?
The content is courtesy of Canadian Cancer Society
Signs and Symptoms
In addition to the four steps, you should also watch out for the following signs and symptoms. Many signs and symptoms of testicular cancer can be caused by other health conditions and are vague and often mild. But it’s important to have any unusual symptoms checked by a doctor, especially if they last longer than 2–4 weeks.
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer are:
- Painless lump on the testicle – can vary in size from a few millimetres to several centimetres
- Persistent lump on the testicle that does not go away
- Feeling of heaviness or aching in the lower abdomen or scrotum
- Painful testicle
- Swelling of a testicle
- Enlarged lymph nodes in the abdomen or neck
If the cancer grows larger or spreads to other parts of the body, including other organs, additional signs may arise:
- Back pain – if the cancer spreads to the retroperitoneal lymph nodes
- Buildup of fluid in the abdomen
- Cough with or without blood-stained sputum – if the cancer spreads to the lungs
- Shortness of breath due to buildup of fluid around the lungs
Rarer signs and symptoms include:
- Excessive hair growth
- Male breast tenderness or enlargement
If you notice any of the above signs of symptoms, don’t freak out. Just see a doctor as soon as possible. For more information about testicular cancer, risks, early detection, diagnosing testicular cancer, pathology, treatment, supportive care, research and prognosis for survival, click here.
I was diagnosed with stage III B testicular cancer in the summer of 2011 at the age of 37. Although there were many sources of information on Cancer available, I struggled to find information on my particular condition. Furthermore, I was shocked to hear that none of my peers were educated about regular checkup procedures to prevent this from happening to them. Had I known more about preventive measures and the early signs of detection, I would have acted on my symptoms sooner and could have avoided the spread of the disease within my own body.
My prognosis is much better now, and although I am still fighting, I am confident that the great team at the BC Cancer agency (including Dr.Michaels, Dr. Atwell, Dr Saltman, and Social Worker Marita Poll) in addition to my GP (Dr. Kachan) and my Naturopath (Dr. Starling) are working together to keep me healthy while looking out for my best interests.
I wanted to put a positive spin on my experience, and use the resources at my disposal (the graphic and web design side of my business) to encourage men to give themselves regular checkups, and spread the word about this disease. I am pleased to be partnering with Testicular Cancer Canada (please donate to the cause) in the hope that this campaign proves to be informative and encouraging for anyone who finds themselves up against testicular cancer.
I was first diagnosed with testicular cancer in the spring of 2008. It started when I found a lump on my testicle. I ignored it at first but it continued growing. I asked my father for advice and he told me this was not something to mess around with. I didn’t know how right he was at the time. Within two weeks of going to the hospital to have the mass examined, I was on a surgical table to have the testicle removed. My doctors and family made a decision to monitor my health with a frequent battery of blood work and other monthly tests known as surveillance, instead of chemo. This was the status quo for 14 months. However, in just weeks after my high school graduation, a glitch in my blood tumour markers had surfaced. Further tests revealed malignant lymph nodes in my abdomen. Before the month of July was over I had started my first round of chemo-therapy and would continue treatment until September 22nd. I was preoccupied for the rest of the summer but I was healthy enough, that by my birthday in September, I was at Mount Allison University for frosh week. I was gaunt and bald but at least I was at school instead of the hospital. I received more bad news in November though. A CT-Scan indicated that I had 2 enlarged nodes even after chemo. My family and I met with a surgeon form Halifax and a decision was reached that I would drop out of first semester (I did manage to get a credit in philosophy) and have full abdominal surgery performed called RPLND. My major organs had to be lifted out of my abdomen and placed on my chest before doctors were able to access and remove all of the lymph nodes from my abdomen. I have recovered from the surgery and am back at school. When my family and I received the pathology reports about the nodes that were removed, we had to make another decision – either more chemo or surveillance again. We chose surveillance.Over the past few years, I have overcome many hardships – chemo and surgeries. During the time spent in hospital, Dr’s offices and speaking to people, I have found that there is not enough education for young men to know about testicular cancer and to know how important self examination really is. I am just glad I wasn’t embarrassed to ask someone. Testi-monial via Testicular Cancer Canada
After being diagnosed I immediately researched online what “experts” in the field are available to help take me through this endeavor. I ended up e-mailing Canada’s testicular cancer expert; Dr. Micheal Jewett, who agreed to see me the next day. Great doctor, and anyone within a couple hours from Toronto I would suggest contacting him for an opinion if you have been diagnosed with testicular cancer by your GP. Dr. Micheal Jewett. Dr. Jewett took me through the steps, that is, a couple quick tests of blood work and I proceeded to get an ultrasound as well. All the tests confirmed that cancer was present. After quickly crossing the road to Toronto General Hospital I was all set and ready to go for my orchiectomy. I stayed overnight in the hospital. After a few weeks I returned to take my very first CT scan to determine how far along the cancer has spread. It was a full-body CT scan and it was determined that the cancer did not spread and I has a very small chance of relapse Therefore I entered my surveillance schedule whereby I would drop by every 2-3 months for blood work and either an x-ray, CT scan, or a combination of both. After approximately 6 months the CT scan determined that a few lymph nodes in my abdomen were enlarged. Dr. Jewett called me to inform me that it was time to perform an RPLND in hopes that we can remove the cancerous lymph nodes and avoid chemotherapy. The surgery was awful and required a 6-week recovery time, it was very painful but the morphine and other various painkillers helped a lot. I had 19 lymph nodes taken out and 4 were deemed to have cancer inside. It was time for me to get back on surveillance, this time with a much larger relapse % rate (I believe I was given around 30%). Needless to say, if the relapse does occur then it would be chemotherapy. It wouldn’t be long until the next relapse occurred (4-6 months after my RPLND). The CT scan caught the cancer to be in my chest area with some tumors forming in my lungs. Needless to say it was time to begin 3 cycles of BEP (bleomycin, etoposide, cisplatin). The chemotherapy was pretty rough, the way I describe it to my friends is that imagine you have a terrible flu combined with the worst hangover you’ve ever had… 27/7 for 9 weeks straight. It was awful but I slept for the majority of the time, I simply didn’t have the energy to do anything. Boredom kicked into play and it was difficult for me to stay engaged doing anything. Nine weeks never felt so long. The chemotherapy regime is very effective for metastasized testicular cancer. Needless to say it took care of all the cancer that was in my chest area, and as I am writing this I will be going for my 1.5 year mark this weekend since chemotherapy. I cannot believe that it has already been so long. Since the chemotherapy is so effective my likelihood of a relapse is now extremely low. I hope any other people who are interested in talking to me or have been recently diagnosed with testicular cancer, whether they are curious to know about anything including the surgeries, emotions, blood work, CT scans, I would be more than happy to talk. I cannot publicly give out my e-mail but if you would like to contact TCTCA and ask they would be happy to hand it over. Good luck to all dealing with such a terrible disease. Testi-monial via Testicular Cancer Canada
More InfoFind your Nuts Campaign information card in Victoria, BC at these locations:
- MEADE DESIGN GROUP
- CITIZEN CLOTHING
- LUZ STUDIOS
- REBEL REBEL
- HABIT COFFEE
- STILL LIFE
- VICTORY BARBER
- CURIOUS COMICS
- THE FOUR HORSEMEN
- CENOTE RESTAURANT & LOUNGE