A testicle lump is swelling or a mass in one or both testicles.
Possible causes of a painful testicle include:
Possible causes if the testicle is not painful:
- Loop of bowel from a hernia
- Testicular cancer
Call your health care provider right away if you notice any unexplained lumps or any other changes in your testicles.
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?
Diagnostic tests depend on the results of the physical examination.
Treatments may include:
- For a lump caused by orchitis or epididymitis, your doctor may prescribe antibiotics.
- For a lump caused by mumps, your doctor may give you medication while the disease runs its course.
- For a lump caused by testicular torsion, see your health care provider immediately. This emergency condition is very painful and requires surgical correction right away.
- For a lump caused by cancer, surgery (orchiectomy), radiation, and chemotherapy are treatment options.
- For a lump caused by a herniated loop of bowel, surgery may be recommended.
- For a lump caused by spermatocele, hydrocele, or varicocele, ask your health care provider about medication and surgery options.
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.
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 previous tumor of the testicle
- An undescended testicle
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.
Review Date: 9/7/2008
Reviewed By: Linda Vorvick, MD, Seattle Site Coordinator, Lecturer, Pathophysiology, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washingto School of Medicine; and Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.
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