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Testicular self-examination is a recommended medical practice by which external feeling of the testicles can act as a first-warning for testicular cancer.
Men from puberty onwards should examine their testes after a hot shower or bath, when the scrotum is looser, and while standing. They should first examine each testicle separately, feeling for lumps, and then compare them to see whether one is larger than the other. By doing this each month, males will become familiar with what is normal for them.
Their testicles should be examined by a doctor if they notice any of the following:
Some symptoms of testicular cancer (which is usually painless, however, in the early stages are common to other disorders of the male urinary tract and reproductive organs, which may also need medical attention from a doctor. These include hydrocele testis, a varicocele, a spermatocele, other genitourinary cancers, urinary tract infections or sexually transmitted infections, or testicular torsion. These are all conditions that should be investigated by a doctor; some of these disorders need quick treatment to preserve reproductive and urinary function and one's health and life.
Testicular self-examination has generally low rates of practice in part because males are poorly informed, but also because of psychological aversion. Comparatively woman are more diligent in performing breast self-examination than men. A person's likeliness to perform self-examination is related to their fear of developing cancer. In addition to sex there is some reason to believe that socioeconomic factors also relate to frequency of examination.
Sometimes, if a young adult male has a spouse or partner, they will perform or assist in the exam, which then may be done also as a form of sex play and/or foreplay. Detection, treatment, and cure rates of male genitourinary disorders, like other male health problems, are higher if both the young adult male and his spouse or partner are actively involved in the process (their spouses or partners often are the ones that spot the disorder, and then convince their male spouse or partner to get it treated, when it may not have been discovered and dealt with without them).
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