Check yourself before you wreck yourself.

In all seriousness, testicular cancer is something you ought to get familiar with if you’ve got testes. It’s worth learning about and reminding yourself to check your balls every so often. You don’t need to become an expert, but at least learn what feels normal for your body so you can tell when it becomes un-normal and worth a doctor’s visit.

Obviously, testicular cancer is a BIG deal and there’s WAY more info about it than we can cover. Make sure to go do additional research, and talk with your doctor if you’re ever concerned!

While it’s not quite the same, it’s still worth a link: a while ago we did a comic on getting familiar with your breasts in the same fashion as this comic!

↓ Comic Transcript
Erika and Matthew share a blanket as they relax in their bed together. Erika lies back on her pillow and reads something on her phone. Matthew is sitting up and looking at a tablet in his hand while using his other hand to shuffle something under the blanket.

Matthew furrows his eyebrows a little. “Ah uh honey, could I get you to feel something for me?” He lifts the blanket a little and points down towards his crotch.

Erika says, “OooOOOOooo, don’t mind if I do!” She gives him a flirty look as hearts float off her head.

Matthew looks down as Erika puts her hands under the sheets. He says, “Ha, no, no, not like that, I just think I found -”

Erika looks surprised as she notices something, with an exclamation mark coming off her head. “OH! Is that… you’ve got a lump!”

Erika and Matthew exchange a worried look.

Matthew comes into the next panel. He shrugs as he says, “SPOILERS: The lumps in my trunks were just calcium deposits. It turns out I have testicular microlithiasis, a case of calcium balls? But it’s a good prompt to talk with you all about getting familiar with your own balls!”

In the background, a person pops out of a giant ball pit. They raise their hand and say, “Oo! Oo! It’s my turn! Pick me, pick me to be your Testicle Assistant!”

Matthew says, “Perfect! Let’s get this ball rolling…”

Roughly 1 in 260 scrotum-packing humans will pick up testicular cancer in their lives. While it rarely kills, it is something you’ll want to treat before it gets bad. It usually develops in your twenties to forties and is pretty fixable with a 95% success rate, which bumps up to 98% when caught early.

A simplified illustration of the scrotum and its anatomy is shown, including the scrotum, the testes, the epididymis, vas deferens, and relevant blood vessels.

Matthew stands next to his imaginary volunteer, who poses proudly and is wearing absolutely nothing except their socks. Matthew gestures down at the person’s scrotum as he says, “It’s in your best interest to get familiar with your own balls and give ‘em a check every month or so.”

The person gives a cheery smile as they say, “Right, so. Walk me through this.”

The best time to check your balls is after a bath or shower, so they are all relaxed and zoned out. Hold your cock away and start feeling each ball up separately. Put it between your thumb and fingers and roll it around.

An illustration shows someone using their hands to gently probe and feel their testicle through the skin of the scrotum. They feel the testicle with their thumb and fingers.

The aim of the (ball) game here is to get used to how your testicles feel normally, so you can tell in the future when something changes. Stuff like hard irregular lumps or shapes on the testicles’ surface or big changes in the size, shape, and consistency of a testicle are things you’re looking for. Like, if you find a strange lump on the ball itself that isn’t free-floating, that’s a red flag.

Another illustration is shown where a hand gently pulls on one testicle through the scrotum as the person checks for irregularities. A black spot is shown on the testicle.

Stuff to take note of:

We all have one ball larger than the other, that’s normal! The bit connected to your ball is called the epididymis and it’s naturally weird and lumpy. A scrotum is packed with blood vessels and tissue, the consistency of which can throw off your inspection game, so just focus on the hard surface of the ball itself.

Another anatomical illustration of the scrotum is shown with relevant labels on it. It appears as follows: The scrotum is the sack of skin that hangs from the pelvis just below the penis. It contains the oval-shaped testicles, or the testes. Connected to the back (and a little of the top) of each testicle is the epididymis, which is a little bit lumpy as Matthew described. Connected to each epididymis are the vas deferens, a long, thin tube that transports sperm to the urethra. Blood vessels are also shown.

Matthew’s volunteer continues to feel their testicles with one hand while lifting their penis out of the way with the other. They raise an eyebrow at Matthew. “So, ah, what if we find something not-quite-right?”

Matthew answers, “Easy! Take it to your doc. They’ll give it a feel and if they agree something’s off, they’ll send you in for a non-invasive ultrasound.” He gestures over to a depiction of an ultrasound probe being gently pressed against a person’s scrotum by a gloved hand.

It’s here that they’ll be able to tell if the abnormality is anything to be worried about. They might then follow up with a blood test. If you’re unlucky and they find something cancerous, chances are you’ll go straight in for an operation to remove the testicle.

The volunteer looks horrified as they bend over to grab their crotch. They exclaim, “Woah, no biopsy? Just straight up remove my ball?!?!!! But… I wanted KIDS!”

Matthew raises a finger as he responds. “Yeah! Biopsies rarely help with testicular cancer and can actually make ‘em grow faster! So usually they opt to just pull the testicle - which ISN’T a problem. You only need one testicle to make enough sperm and testosterone.” He points down at his crotch as he says this.

“For severe cases, you might be in for some radiation and chemo, depending on the type of cancer and progression. But you can do it - I believe in you! Just keep talking to your doctors and follow their advice.”

An illustration shows silhouetted figures of a person sitting on a medical examination table and a doctor with a clipboard.

Matthew and his volunteer stand on a baseball diamond. The volunteer readies their bat at the home plate while Matthew stands at the pitcher’s mound. Matthew goes in the windup position as he prepares to throw a baseball.

He winks as he says, “Hopefully I didn’t throw you any curve balls, this is all pretty basic knowledge I think, nothing balls to the walls or super nuts. The important thing is to just keep your eye on the ball(s)!”

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This comic was posted on June 18, 2019 and transcribed May 15, 2022, by Dennie Park, who can be found at