Topic Overview

Testicular cancer is not common. It is
often first discovered by the man himself, or his sex partner, as a lump or an
enlarged and swollen testicle. In the early stages of testicular cancer, the
lump, which may be about the size of a pea, usually is not painful. Testicular
cancer has a high cure rate.

Experts have different recommendations for screening for
testicular cancer. For example, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force advises against routine testicular exam or testicular self-exams in
teens and men who have no symptoms.footnote 1 The USPSTF says that the evidence shows that these exams have only a small benefit (if any) and may cause harm from false-positive results that lead to having diagnostic tests or procedures you don’t need.

Testicular self-examination (TSE) may
detect testicular cancer at an early stage. Many doctors do not believe that monthly TSE is
needed for men who are at average risk for testicular cancer.
Monthly TSE may be recommended for men who are at high risk for
testicular cancer. This includes men with a history of an undescended testicle
or a family or personal history of testicular cancer.

For more
information, see the topic Testicular Cancer.



  1. U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (2011). Screening for Testicular Cancer: Reaffirmation Recommendation Statement. Available online:


ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD – Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS – Urology, Oncology

Current as ofMay 3, 2017