A testicle lump is swelling or a growth (mass) in one or both testicles.
Lump in the testicle; Scrotal mass
A testicle lump that does not hurt may be a sign of cancer. Most cases of testicular cancer occur in men ages 15 to 40. It can also occur at older or younger ages.
Possible causes of a painful scrotal mass include:
- A cyst-like lump in the scrotum that contains fluid and dead sperm cells (spermatocele). (This condition sometimes does not cause pain.)
- Infection of the scrotal sac.
- Injury or trauma.
- Orchitis (testicular infection).
- Testicular torsion.
- Testicular cancer.
Possible causes if the scrotal mass is not painful:
- Loop of bowel from a hernia
- Testicular cancer
- Cyst of epididymis or testicle
Starting in puberty, men at risk for testicular cancer may be taught to do regular exams of their testicles. This includes men with:
- A family history of testicular cancer
- A past tumor of the testicle
- An undescended testicle, even if the testicle on the other side has descended
If you have a lump in your testicle, tell your health care provider right away. A lump on the testicle may be the first sign of testicular cancer. Many men with testicular cancer have been given a wrong diagnosis. Therefore, it is important to go back to your provider if you have a lump that doesn't go away.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider right away if you notice any unexplained lumps or any other changes in your testicles.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
Your provider will examine you. This may include looking at and feeling (palpating) the testicles and scrotum. You will be asked questions about your health history and symptoms, such as:
- When did you notice the lump?
- Have you had any previous lumps?
- Do you have any pain? Does the lump change in size?
- Exactly where on the testicle is the lump? Is only one testicle involved?
- Have you had any recent injuries or infections? Have you ever had surgery on your testicles or in the area?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- Is there scrotal swelling?
- Do you have abdominal pain or lumps or swelling anywhere else?
- Were you born with both testicles in the scrotum?
Tests and treatments depend on the results of the physical exam.
Elder JS. Disorders and anomalies of the scrotal contents. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 545.
Palmer LS, Palmer JS. Management of abnormalities of the external genitalia in boys. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 146.
Stephenson AJ. Gilligan TD. Neoplasms of the testis. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 34.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for testicular cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(7):483-486. PMID: 21464350 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21464350.
Jennifer Sobol, DO, urologist with the Michigan Institute of Urology, West Bloomfield, MI. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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