How to check your testicles for lumps

The all important ball-check is a subject less touched upon than most but, in fact, ought to be brought up more. We show you how to properly examine yourself 

Testing your testes

The testicular self-examination is to men what the breast self-examination is to women: a way of familiarising yourself with your body and detecting any changes early on. It should be done once a month. Testicular cancer is most common in men aged 20–25, but since it often causes no symptoms until it spreads to the lymph nodes and lungs, older men should also examine themselves.


Here’s how

• Use both hands to examine each testicle separately. Put your index and middle fingers underneath and your thumbs on top.

• Gently roll each testicle between your fingers and thumbs. It should feel smooth and rubbery. Feel for hard, pea-sized lumps and changes in shape, size or texture.

• Also check your penis for lumps or sores.


If you notice anything suspicious, see your doctor. They can perform an ultrasound to help determine if there is a lump—and if so, what’s causing it. Painful lumps or an enlarged testis may be caused by testicular cancer. Inflammation may also be caused by a bladder infection or a collection of blood that can develop after injury to the scrotum. Small sores on the testis or penis may be caused by skin cancer or, more commonly, by sexually transmitted diseases such as herpes, syphilis and the human papilloma virus (HPV), which causes genital warts.