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Testicular cancer: how to spot the signs following death of West Ham striker Dylan Tombides

By citizenmike  |  Posted: April 19, 2014

Time to check your balls?

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Young West Ham striker Dylan Tombides died yesterday after a three year battle with testicular cancer.

The 20-year-old passed away with his family at his bedside.

The footballer was first diagnosed with cancer while representing Australia during the 2011 Under 17 World Cup in Mexico. He fought the disease for three years but sadly lost his battle.

Now young men are being urged to self-test and check their testicles for tell-tale signs of cancer.

The testicular self exam is best performed after a warm bath or shower as heat relaxes the scrotum, making it easier to spot anything abnormal.

Here is advice from the Testicular Cancer Resource Center on how to carry out the self exam:

  • If possible, stand in front of a mirror. Check for any swelling on the scrotal skin.
  • Examine each testicle with both hands. Place the index and middle fingers under the testicle with the thumbs placed on top. Roll the testicle gently between the thumbs and fingers -- you shouldn't feel any pain when doing the exam. Don't be alarmed if one testicle seems slightly larger than the other, that's normal.
  • Find the epididymis, the soft, tubelike structure behind the testicle that collects and carries sperm. If you are familiar with this structure, you won't mistake it for a suspicious lump. Cancerous lumps usually are found on the sides of the testicle but can also show up on the front. Lumps on or attached to the epididymis are not cancerous.
  • If you find a lump on your testicle or any of the other signs of testicular cancer listed below, see a doctor, preferably a urologist, right away. The abnormality may not be cancer, but if it is testicular cancer, it will spread if it is not stopped by treatment. Even if it is something else like an infection, you are still going to need to see a doctor. Waiting and hoping will not fix anything. Please note that free floating lumps in the scrotum that are not attached in any way to a testicle are not testicular cancer. When in doubt, get it checked out - if only for peace of mind!

Other signs of testicular cancer to keep in mind are:

- Any enlargement of a testicle

- A significant loss of size in one of the testicles

- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum

- A dull ache in the lower abdomen or in the groin

- A sudden collection of fluid in the scrotum

- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum

- Enlargement or tenderness of the breasts

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