Q: My husband never examines himself, but I have noticed that he has one testicle that is noticeably larger than the other – is this normal?
A: It is perfectly normal for a man to have different sized testicles, and for one to lie lower than the other (it makes walking easier) but if the change in size is recent then it should be looked at by a doctor.
Men should examine themselves regularly for abnormal lumps and bumps and get any changes checked out sooner rather than later. Cancer of the testicle is comparatively rare – there are fewer than 1500 cases a year in the UK and I have only ever seen two in my career. Indeed a similar number of men are killed by breast cancer every year, yet even fewer men check their breasts.
Fortunately cancer of the testicle is very treatable with cure rates well over 90% in most cases, but the earlier it is caught the better. Men between the ages of 19 and 45 are most at risk from cancer of the testicle, particularly those who have had a brother or father with the condition. Luckily most lumps, bumps and swellings in and around the testicles end up being due to something else, but it pays to be careful.
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