It’s been said that, if you shake it more than three times, you’re playing with it, and under normal circumstances, that’d probably be true (not that there’s anything wrong with masturbation, it’s perfectly healthy). But when it comes to giving yourself a ball check — excuse me, a testicular exam — giving the ol’ frank-and-beans a few tugs isn’t playing with it, it’s being a responsible adult.
Now, you’re probably sitting there thinking, “Wow, that went from zero to sixty pretty fast,” and if that’s the case, you’re correct. But testicular exams are no laughing matter. According to Johns Hopkins University, between 8,000 to 10,000 men will be diagnosed with testicular cancer this year, or about one in 270. In fact, among men aged 20 to 40 years old, it’s the most common type of cancer there is.
That prevalence among younger men means that, if you’re a man and you’re reading this, you likely should have started giving yourself a self-examination years ago. In fact, doctors recommend that if you’re a man between the ages of 15 and 55, you should be checking your testes monthly, ideally after taking a hot shower when your scrotum is more relaxed.
So how do you give yourself a ball-check? The American Cancer Society prescribes the following:
- Hold your penis out of the way and examine each testicle separately.
- Hold your testicle between your thumbs and fingers with both hands and roll it gently between your fingers.
- Look and feel for any hard lumps or nodules (smooth rounded masses) or any change in the size, shape, or consistency of your testicles.
If you do happen to feel something down there that’s out-of-the-ordinary, don’t panic. That said, you’ll want to get in touch with your doctor — ideally a urologist — stat. Want some good news? The prognosis for men diagnosed with testicular cancer is very, very good. In fact, it has a 95 percent survival rate!
So remember, check yourself early, often, and don’t let anyone give you any crap for a few extra shakes if it means stopping testicular cancer in its tracks.