A testicle lump is swelling or a growth (mass) in one or both testicles.
Lump in the testicle
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.
Possible causes of a painful testicle include:
- A cyst-like lump in the scrotum that contains fluid and dead sperm cells (spermatocele)
- Infection of the scrotal sac
- Injury or trauma
- Orchitis (testicular infection)
- Testicular torsion
- Testicular cancer
Possible causes if the testicle is not painful:
- Loop of bowel from a hernia
- Testicular cancer
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.
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.
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.
Last reviewed 9/3/2010 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.
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