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A testicular exam is an inspection of the testicles for lumps or other abnormalities. A testicular exam can be performed by a doctor by a thorough examination of the entire groin region including the genitals. Testicular self exam can be performed at home. It is useful for familiarizing oneself with one's testicles. This enables a man to better spot abnormalities if they occur.
Testicular exams and self exams are helpful in early detection of testicular cancer. This is the most common form of cancer in men under the age of 35.
Things to keep in mind when performing a testicular self exam:
Use a mirror. This will help you spot any minor swelling or appearance changes that you may not see by simply looking down.
There is a structure inside the scrotum the feels a bit like a soft rope. This is called the epididymis. It is sometimes mistaken for a lump. Become familiar with it so you can differentiate it from any masses that you may encounter.
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