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Medical professionals strongly encourage men to examine their testicles regularly because this greatly increases the chance of diagnosing and curing testicular cancer before it is too late. Locating a tumor early boosts the odds of total cure. All men, but especially those of ages 15 to 34, are encouraged to practice Testicle Self Examination (TSE) once a month.

TSE is best performed after a warm bath or shower when the scrotum is relaxed, and should include the following steps, as recommended by the National Cancer Association:

Standing in front of a mirror, check for swelling on the scrotum skin.

Examine each testicle using both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers. If one testicle seems slightly larger than the other do not be alarmed. That's normal.

Find the soft, tube-like structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm so you won't mistake it for a suspicious lump. Cancerous lumps usually are found on the sides of the testicle but can also show up on the front.

If you find a lump, see a doctor right away. The abnormality may not be cancer, but if it is, it can spread if not stopped by treatment.

Remember, only a physician can make a positive diagnosis.