In our big penis survey (the survey was big, not the penis) we also went slightly south and asked about your balls.

When it comes to your health, the balls are very important. In the survey, we asked how often you check your balls for lumps. Only 37% of you said that you regularly check for lumps. 7% said they had only checked once, while 4% said they have never checked their balls for lumps.

Testicular cancer doesn’t discriminate, so it’s recommended that you check them at least once a month.

What should my balls feel like?

Your balls should feel smooth without any obvious bumps or lumps. When your checking them, you may notice a soft tube at the back of each one. That’s called the epididymis and it’s completely normal.

What am I looking for?

Primarily, you’re looking for a lump or swelling. This can be about the size of a pea, but it can be larger. Other things to look out for include a feeling of heaviness in your balls or an increase in firmness of at least one of your balls. There could also be a change in texture. You should also look out for a dull ache or a sharp pain.

How should I check my balls?

Have a warm shower or bath: this will make your ball sack more relaxed, and lumps or differences will be much more noticeable.

Roll your testicles between your thumb and forefinger: check for any hard, non-sensitive lumps. It shouldn’t be painful to do this and don’t worry if one testicle is bigger than the other, that’s quite common.

Feel around the top and the back of your balls:  you’ll find the epididymis (as mentioned earlier). This can be more sensitive than the rest of your scrotum and shouldn’t be mistaken for a lump. Examine the vas

(the sperm-carrying tube that extends from the epididymis) of each testicle. Cancerous lumps are generally found on the sides of your balls, but may also appear on the front. Lumps on the epididymis are not cancerous.

What should I do next?

If you find a lump, any swelling or any associated symptoms, then you should go and consult your doctor. We asked in our survey what you would do if you found a lump. 16% of you wouldn’t act on it straight away and 2% would actually ignore it. It’s very important that you get it checked by a medical professional as soon as possible. Encouragingly, 72% of you said you would check your balls more  often once we explained how easy it was to self-examine and check for signs of testicular cancer.

Click here for more information about testicular cancer and how to check for lumps.