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Testicle lump

Definition

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

See also:

Alternative Names

Lump in the testicle

Considerations

A testicle lump that does not hurt may be a sign of cancer. Most cases of testicular cancer occur in men ages 15 - 40, although it can also occur at older or younger ages.

Common Causes

Possible causes of a painful testicle include:

Possible causes if the testicle is not painful:

  • Hydrocele
  • Loop of bowel from a hernia
  • Spermatocele
  • Testicular cancer
  • Varicocele

Call your health care provider if

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 health care provider's office

Your health care provider will perform a physical examination, which may include inspecting and feeling (palpating) the testicles and scrotum. The health care provider may ask questions about the lump, 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?
  • Is only one testicle involved?
  • Exactly where on the testicle is the lump?
  • Have you had any recent injuries or infections?
  • What other symptoms do you have?
  • Is there scrotal swelling?
  • Do you have abdominal pain?
  • Do you have any lumps or swelling anywhere else?
  • Have you ever had surgery on your testicles or in the area?
  • Were you born with both testicles in the scrotum?

Tests and treatments depend on the results of the physical examination.

Prevention

Starting in puberty, men at risk for testicular cancer should examine their testicles on a regular basis. 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

These men should perform a testicular self-exam each month, so that a testicular lump can be found early. A lump on the testicle may be the first sign of testicular cancer.

References

Richie JP, Steele GS. Neoplasms of the testis. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 29.

Schneck FX, Bellinger MF. Abnormalities of the testes and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 9th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 127.

Elder JS. Disorders and anomalies of the scrotal contents. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007:chap 545.


Review Date: 9/3/2010
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washingto School of Medicine; and Scott Miller, MD, Urologist in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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