This factsheet is for men who would like information about being testicle aware.
Being testicle aware means knowing how the testicles look and feel, and knowing what changes to look for. It can help to find lumps and swellings that may be testicular cancer.
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Published by Bupa's Health Information Team, September 2010
Sperm are created in your testicles and then they move into the epididymis (a long narrow tube inside the testicle) where they are stored for several weeks to help them mature. When you ejaculate, sperm move from your epididymis to the ejaculatory duct where they are mixed with liquid called semen.
Testosterone is a male sex hormone. It's what causes you to have a deep voice, beard hair, develop muscle and the ability to have an erection. Testosterone is also what gives you your sex drive (libido).
Testicular cancer is a relatively rare cancer, however it is the most common form of cancer in men aged 20 to 39. Examining your testicles regularly could help you pick up testicular cancer at the early stages. Cancers which are found earlier are easier to treat, which is why it's important to know what is normal for you. Testicular cancer in particular is almost always cured by a simple operation if it's diagnosed early enough. However, many patients delay seeing a doctor, by which time the cancer has spread. If you don't see your doctor straight away, then you may need more complex treatment including chemotherapy or radiotherapy.
By knowing how your testicles normally look and feel, you can spot any changes quickly. Of course, most lumps in testicles aren't cancer; they can be caused by other conditions, such as a cyst or a hydrocele (a collection of fluid in your scrotum). However it's always best to check with a doctor if you notice anything abnormal.