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Guys, when your mum said 'Don't play with your balls' she was wrong

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Published: 17 Dec 2012      

Dead wrong!

Remember how your mum used to tell you “if you play with those, they’ll fall off!” Well what she should have said was, if you don’t play with those, they may fall off (or technically have to be taken off one day). What am I talking about? Well it’s that dreaded phrase ‘testicular cancer’!!!

Aaaaaahhhhhhh!!

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Well as bad as it sounds, most cases of testicular cancer if found early enough, can be treated with no after effects to a man’s sex life. But the key here is ‘if found early enough’ Us guys are notorious for never going to see a doctor. We’ll happily moan and groan about this and that, but God forbid we should make an appointment and go get that little problem checked.

For example, it’s a proven fact that more women are diagnosed with melanoma (skin cancer) than men, yet more men die from it. Why? Because we wait too long to go and get that funny spot on our skin checked by a doctor. 

As blokes we need to look after our tackle if we won’t to hang on to it (no pun intended). Checking our testicles for changes or possible dangerous growths isn’t difficult. If we get into a routine of doing regularly, once a month is the recommended interval, then we have a much greater chance of spotting something before it gets to be very serious. We shouldn’t find it embarrassing, after all we all wake up scratching them anyway, so we might as well put that handling to some good use.

Although testicular cancer is comparatively rare, the number of cases has more than doubled over the last 20 years and it is the most common form of cancer in men aged between 15 and 39. In theUK, approximately 1900 new cases are diagnosed every year. However, the good news is that 9 out of 10 men who get the disease are cured if detected early.

How to do it

What you want to look for is any change in size of one testicle over the other, or any unusual lumps or bumps on the testicles, or if you feel any tenderness or heaviness in one testicle that won’t go away. To check them, it is best to do it when you’re showering or taking a bath. The warm water helps them to relax and you can get around them easier as they distend (stretch out) more. Take each testicle, one at a time, between your fingers of either hand and roll it around like you were rolling a small orange (but remember you’re not trying to squeeze the juice out of it!). 

Get to know what it feels like on every part of the surface so that in future you can tell if anything changes.  What you want to look for is any lumps or bumps that you don’t think shouldn’t be there.  Now you may find little bumps crop up. I know I got very concerned the first time I found one. I finally got up the courage to go to my doctor, who told me it was just a small skin growth and nothing to worry about.  But better safe than sorry guys.

You can even get your partner involved in this and get her or him to help you explore and check them.  Make a game of it. It can be quite educational for them and who knows, could lead to better things!

So, no excuses. We only get one body. Look after it and you’ll get many years of use and enjoyment out of it.