Testicular cancer (TC) has been determined to be the most common malignancy in men 15 to 34 years of age. An estimated 7,400 new cases of TC will be diagnosed in 1999, and approximately 3 00 men will die this year from TC. Evidence suggests the incidence of TC is on the rise in North America, especially among Caucasian men. However, TC is nearly 100% curable if detected in its early stages. Testicular self-examination (TSE), a strategy employed by men to detect TC in its early stages, has not been endorsed by leading authorities on cancer. Education on the disease is almost nonexistent. The purpose of this descriptive study was to define the motivators and barriers to performing TSE. The theoretical framework employed was Becker's (1974) Health Belief Model. The two research questions proposed were as follows : What are the motivators to performing TSE among college-aged men? And what are the barriers to performing TSE among college-aged men? The convenience sample consisted of 74 men ages 18 1 1 1 and over who were enrolled in a large land grant university in North Mississippi. The instrument utilized in this study was a survey questionnaire. Data were analyzed using descriptive and nonparametrie statistics. Two significant motivators emerged to the performance of TSE in this study: being aware of TSE (.0 04) and having been taught to perform TSE by a health care provider (.000). The barriers to performing TSE were reciprocal to the motivators for practice. An implication for nursing is to include TSE educational programs for nurse practitioners in an effort to increase teaching of TSE by nurse practitioners in primary care. Recommendations for further study include a qualitative study to examine the attitudes and beliefs of health care providers toward education courses on TC and TSE and inclusion of a TC and TSE history section for at-risk male patients.


Master of Science in Nursing (MSN)


Graduate Nursing

Degree Date


Publication Number


First Advisor

Mary Patricia Curtis

Second Advisor

Melinda Rush

Document Type


Included in

Nursing Commons