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Groin lump

 

Definition

A groin lump is localized swelling in the groin area (where the upper leg meets the lower abdomen). It may be firm or soft, tender or not painful at all.

Alternative Names

Lump in the groin; Inguinal lymphadenopathy; Localized lymphadenopathy-groin; Bubo; Lymphadenopathy - groin

Common Causes
  • Allergic reaction
  • Cancer
  • Drug reaction
  • Harmless (benign) cyst
  • Hernia (usually a soft, large bulge in the groin on one or both sides)
  • Infections in the legs
  • Injury trauma to the groin area
  • Lipomas (harmless fatty growths)
  • Sexually transmitted diseases such as genital herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea
  • Swollen lymph glands in the groin area
Home Care

Follow the therapy prescribed by your health care provider.

Call your health care provider if

Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have an unexplained groin lump, especially if it persists for more than 3 weeks.

What to expect at your health care provider's office

The doctor will examine you and may feel the lymph nodes in your groin area. A genital or pelvic examination may be done.

The doctor will ask questions about your medical history and symptoms, such as:

  • When did the lump develop?
  • Is it on one side or both?
  • How big is it?
  • Did it occur suddenly or develop slowly?
  • Is it always present or does it come and go?
  • Does it get larger when coughing or straining?
  • Has there been any unusual physical activity recently?
  • What symptoms do you have?

The doctor may also ask you detailed questions about your sexual activities.

Tests that may be done include:

Considerations

All groin lumps should be examined by your health care provider.

References

Armitage JO. Approach to the patient with lymphadenopathy and splenomegaly. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier. 2007: chap 174.

Camitta BM. Lymphadenopathy. In: Kliegman RM, Behrman RE, Jenson HB, Stanton BF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 18th Ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier; 2007: chap 490.

Glover KY, Varadhachary GR, Lenzi R, Raber MN, Abbruzzese JL. Carcinoma of unknown primary. In: Abeloff MD, Armitage JO, Niederhuber JE, Kastan MB, McKenna WG, eds. Clinical Oncology. 4th ed. Philadelphia, Pa; Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2008: chap 98.


Review Date: 8/2/2009
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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