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Testicle lump

  • Definition
    • A testicle lump is swelling or a growth (mass) in one or both testicles.

  • Alternative Names
    • Lump in the testicle; Scrotal mass

  • Considerations
    • 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.

  • Causes
    • Possible causes of a painful scrotal mass include:

      Possible causes if the scrotal mass is not painful:

      • Hydrocele
      • Loop of bowel from a hernia
      • Spermatocele
      • Testicular cancer
      • Varicocele
  • When to Contact a Medical Professional
    • Call your health care 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.

  • Prevention
    • 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.

  • References
    • Barthold JS. Abnormalities of the testes and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 132.

      Elder JS. Disorders and anomalies of the scrotal contents. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 19th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 539.

      Stephenson AJ. Gilligan TD. Neoplasms of the testis. In:Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2011:chap 31.

      U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Testicular Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154:483-6. PMID: 21464350 www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21464350.