Health Information and Tools > Patient Care Handouts >  Testicular Self-Examination: Care Instructions

Main Content

Testicular Self-Examination: Care Instructions

Picture of how to perform a testicle self-exam

Your Care Instructions

A self-exam is a way for you to check for cancer of the testicles. Although testicular cancer is rare, it is one of the most common tumours in men younger than 35.

Many testicular cancers are found during self-exam. In the early stages of testicular cancer, the lump, which may be about the size of a pea, usually is not painful. Testicular cancer, especially if treated early, is very often cured.

By doing this self-exam regularly, you can learn the normal size, shape, and weight of your testicles. This allows you to note any changes.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

How is it done?

  • The self-exam is best done during or after a bath or shower—when the scrotum, the skin sac that holds the testicles, is relaxed.
  • Stand and place your right leg on a raised surface about chair height. Then gently feel your scrotum until you find the right testicle.
  • Roll the testicle gently but firmly between your thumb and fingers of both hands. Carefully feel the surface for lumps. Feel for any change in the size, shape, or texture of the testicle. The testicle should feel round and smooth. It is normal for one testicle to be slightly larger than the other one.
  • Repeat this for the left side. Feel the entire surface of both testicles.
  • You may feel the epididymis, the soft tube behind each testicle. Get familiar with how it feels so that you won't mistake it for a lump.

When should you call for help?

Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:

  • You have pain in a testicle.

Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:

  • You notice a change in a testicle.
  • You notice a lump in a testicle.

Where can you learn more?

Go to

Enter U663 in the search box to learn more about "Testicular Self-Examination: Care Instructions".

Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.