CancerHelp UK is the patient information website of Cancer Research UK. They provide a free information service about cancer and cancer care for people with cancer and their families.
MEN - LUMPS AND BUMPS - Testicular Self Examination A simple set of checks that could save your life!
Cancer of the testicles (balls) is one of the most common cancers of young men from the age of 15-35 and just being aware of changes in your testicles and the warning signs could save your life... Testicular Cancer, if found early can be treated successfully. The cure rate for this form of cancer is almost 100%
The Key is to check! So WHAT TO DO…
|Step 1 Regularly check your testicles: you will get to know how they hang and feel normally, so that you can spot any changes that might occur.|
|Step 2 Always carry out the following examination after a warm bath or shower when the scrotum is soft and relaxed.|
|Step 3 Hold your scrotum in the palm of your hand and look for changes in the heaviness, shape or size of your testicles. It's normal for one testicle to hang lower than the other. A mirror will help you to compare your testicles and see any obvious changes. Remember it is common for both testicles NOT to look alike. But get to know what is normal for you.|
|Step 4 Examine each of your testicles, using your hands to roll them between your thumbs and fingers. They should feel smooth.|
|Step 5 Look for any lumps, swellings or hard areas. One lump should be there - the epididymis. It is at the top and back of each of your testicles. You should still look for other lumps.|
|Step 6 Compare each of your testicles with the other If you find something unusual, you are not likely to find it in both of your testicles, so check if there are any differences between the two.|
|Step 7 Other signs you can watch for are, a dull ache in your abdomen or groin, heaviness in your scrotum or a pain I your testicle.|
|Step 8 Cancer is not the only cause of lumps and bumps, they could be cysts...if you notice any change please get it checked out straight away.|
YOU WILL NOT BE WASTING THE DOCTOR'S TIME
If you find something do not panic. Try not to let embarrassment prevent you from seeking your doctor's advice. So have a go and make it part of your shower routine and LOOK OUT FOR:
- A testicle dragging or feeling heavy
- A dull ache
- A build up of fluid
- A small hard lump
- Any change in shape or size
- An enlarged testicle
- It is estimated that one in 11 women in the UK will develop breast cancer during their lifetime (source: ICRF 1998)
- The risk of breast cancer increases with age
- 80% of all breast cancers are in women over 50 years of age
Can I do anything myself?
It is important that every woman should become breast aware and remain aware through out her lifetime. Breast size and shape vary considerably from woman to woman and so do nipple size and shape. So breast awareness is knowing how your breasts look and feel normally so that you will be able to detect any change which might be unusual for you. Although most breast problems will prove benign (harmless) they should always be reported to your doctor
Can men get Breast Cancer?
Although rare each year approximately 220 men get breast cancer so men should report any change to their doctor. (source: ICRF 1997)
How should I examine my breasts?
- Stand in front of the mirror and raise your arms above your head. Notice any new differences in size or shape between the breasts any puckering of the skin or alteration of the nipple. Slight changes are easier to see if you stand with the light coming from the side.
- Lie down, with your fingers flat, feel over the whole surface of both your breasts for anything which is different from the last time (some women find it easier to do this in the bath using a soapy hand) Also feel in the arm pit.
Changes to look out for
- Appearance: any change in the outline or shape of the breast, especially those caused by arm movements.
- Feelings: Discomfort or pain in one breast that is different from normal, particularly new and persistent.
- Lumps: Any lumps thickening or bumpy areas in one breast or armpit which seem to be different from the same part of the other breast or armpit. This very important if new.
- Nipple change: nipple discharge, new for you and not milky. Bleeding or moist reddish areas which don't heal easily, any change in nipple position - pulled in or pointing out.
Mammography: is an x-ray technique used to detect or investigate breast disease and can reveal very small lumps which neither you or your doctor are able to feel. It can also show abnormal cells. Women between the age of 50 - 64 are offered screening.
For lots more information please try www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/breastscreen
Useful web site www.cancerscreening.nhs.uk/cervical
Cervical Cancer can occur at any age and is therefore a particularly alarming cancer for women - and its incidence is increasing among young women. FORTUNATELY provided it is detected at a pre-cancer stage by the CERVICAL SMEAR test, the majority of cervical cancer cases can be successfully prevented as this is long before true cancer develops… so we urge all women over the age of 20, who are or have been sexually active to go for their routine smear test - a quick and painless procedure.
Sadly nearly 70% of women who die from cervical cancer have not had routine cervical smears.
What is cervical screening?
Cervical screening is a method of preventing cancer by detecting and treating pre-cancerous changes in a woman's cervix (the neck of the womb). The first stage in cervical screening is a smear test.
What is a smear test?
A smear test can spot abnormal cells which, if left untreated, might turn into invasive cervical cancer. It is not a test for cancer. The smear test is used to take a sample of cells from the cervix for analysis. A doctor or nurse inserts an instrument (a speculum) to open the woman's vagina and uses a spatula to sweep around the cervix and take a sample of cells. Most women consider the procedure to be only mildly uncomfortable. The sample of cells is then 'smeared' on to a slide which is sent to a laboratory for examination under a microscope.
What does the NHS Cervical Screening Programme do?
The programme aims to reduce the number of women who develop invasive cervical cancer (incidence) and the number of women who die from it (mortality). It does this by regularly screening all women at risk so that conditions which might otherwise develop into invasive cancer can be identified and treated.
Who is eligible for cervical screening?
All women between the ages of 20 and 64 are eligible for a free cervical smear test at least once every five years. Around 60 per cent of health authorities invite women every three years and 15 per cent have a mixed policy, inviting women every three or five years, depending on their age. Oxfordshire's policy is to call women every three years.
Health authorities invite women who are registered with a GP using a computerised call-recall system. This also keeps track of any follow-up investigation, and, if all is well, recalls the woman for screening in three or five years time. It is therefore important that all women ensure their GP has their correct name and address details and inform them if these change.
Women who have not had a recent smear test may be offered one when they attend their GP or family planning clinic on another matter. Women should receive their first invitation for routine screening before their 25th birthday.
What Causes Cervical Cancer?
Nobody knows exactly what causes it as many factors seem to be involved and not all of them are present in every woman. The incidence seems to increase in those women who:
- Have had more than one partner or a partner who has had more than one partner.
- A woman who smokes increases her chances of developing cervical cancer.
- First had sexual intercourse or had their first pregnancy at an early age.
- Genital infection with the human papilloma virus (HPV), which in some cases causes genital warts, is also thought to play a part.
- The cervix is vulnerable in younger women when it is not fully developed and also just after pregnancy.
The condom or diaphragm (cap) can help provide protection from cancer of the cervix.
Are there any signs or symptoms which will indicate that I am likely to develop cervical cancer?
No... during the early stages where changes in the cells of the cervix MIGHT lead to cancer there are no obvious signs or symptoms that will tell a woman that she may be at risk. The only way in which they can be detected is by having a smear test.
If you think you are due a Smear test but have not received a letter inviting you for one from your GP please contact your GP to make the arrangements.
The nurses at the Medical Centre, Gipsy Lane will be happy to see you if you are registered with the Doctors there or St.Bartholomew's ...just book a double appointment.