Ifs important to examine your testicles regularly for cancer, even though testicular cancer is relatively rare. Men 18 to 32 years old and over 60 run a higher than average risk of getting testicular cancer. But anyone can be vulnerable.

If left untreated, this cancer can lead to death. Fortunately, removal of the diseased testicle often halts the cancer. Removal of one testicle will not affect potency. If both testicles are removed (a very rare occurrence), potency problems can result. While potency can be restored with testosterone shots, ifs best to catch the cancer early. That’ s why self-examination is so important. Here’s how to do it.

(It’s important in doing this exam that you know the location of your epididymis, since you could mistake it for trouble. The epididymis is normally a soft, sausage-shaped organ, running up and down the back of the testicle. It feels like a bump when you touch it. There’s a slight groove between the testicle and the epididymis.) Lightly massage the whole surface of each testicle, using both hands. You should not feel any hard lumps. If you do feel one, see your family physician or a urologist immediately. If found early, testicular cancer is virtually 100 percent curable.

Play it safe and give yourself an exam once a month. It only takes a couple of minutes, but it can save your life.