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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

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 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?
  • 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 exam.

Prevention

Starting in puberty, men at risk for testicular cancer may be taught to 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

If you have a lump in your testicle, tell your health care provider immediately. A lump on the testicle may be the first sign of testicular cancer. Many men with testicular cancer have been mistakenly given another diagnosis, so return toyour health care provider if you have a persistent testicular lump.

References

U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for Testicular Cancer: U.S. Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154:483-486.

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

Barthold JS. Abnormalities of the testes and scrotum and their surgical management. In: Wein AJ, ed. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 10th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 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: Saunders Elsevier; 2011:chap 539.


Review Date: 10/9/2012
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Chief of Urology, Cambridge Health Alliance, Visiting Assistant Professor of Surgery, Harvard Medical School. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, 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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