Feeling a lump or bump on a testicle will make any man freak out.
On this part of the body, discovering a lump out of the ordinary can be very unsettling and disturbing, to say the least.
However, before thinking the worst, there can be several reasons for why a lump is down there. Most importantly, have it checked out as soon as possible to get an accurate diagnosis.
Possible causes of testicular lumps
Often, men who discover a lump in a testicle will most likely harbor thoughts of testicular cancer. But before jumping to conclusions, there can be many other, more common and more likely non-cancerous reasons for the cause of testicular lumps and bumps. Here are some possible explanations:
Usually painless, testicular cysts, also known as epididymal cyst, can be felt as single or multiple small lumps. These fluid-filled benign sacs grow at the top end of the testicle and can become large or painful. If that happens, a urologist can remove them in an outpatient procedure.
This is an inflammation of the epididymis, the tubing behind the testicle that carries sperm. This inflammation can form a tender lump or mass behind the testicle.
Swelling and inflammation is usually associated with an enlargement of the scrotal sac, the sac or scrotum that houses the testicles. It is generally caused by an injury, underlying medical condition, an accumulation of fluid, or an abnormal growth within the scrotum.
This uncommon condition is where small clusters of calcium form in the testicles. It can be diagnosed during a testicular ultrasound and studies have shown an association between this condition and testicular cancer.
An enlargement of the veins inside the scrotum is known as varicocele, which is similar to a varicose vein that can occur in the legs. Varicoceles can cause a “heavy” sensation but can also feel tender, especially when standing or straining. They have also been associated with infertility as varicoceles are a common cause of low sperm production and decreased sperm quality.
This is a non-cancerous mass or swelling caused by a buildup of fluid around the testicle, making the testicle seem much larger. It often occurs after an injury or after hernia surgery. If the swelling become too large causing pain or tenderness, outpatient surgery can be performed to drain the fluid.
If a man feels a soft, tender mass in the scrotal area, it could be a hernia. This is caused by the intestine or its contents pushing through the muscles in the abdomen. A scrotal hernia may first be noticed by a bulge in the abdomen or groin area.
They can also be detected if one testicle is larger than the other or more swollen. There may also be burning, aching, or heave pain the groin accompanying it. It is strongly advised to seek the advice and diagnosis of a urologist to get an accurate diagnosis.
Testicular cancer is a very rare cancer in men, as approximately only 8,500 men a year are diagnosed with it. It primarily affects young men between the ages of 15 to 35 but a man of any age is still at risk.
Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves since the main symptom is usually a lump, hardness, or painless swelling of the testicle. Some men have described it as having a dull ache or heavy sensation in the lower abdomen, anal area or scrotum. Other symptoms can include a change in how the testicle feels, a build-up of fluid in the scrotum, a scrotum that feels heavy or swollen, and bigger or tender breasts.
Anytime a man notices an abnormality, he needs to see his doctor right away, preferably a urologist. Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers as many men who’ve had the disease go on to live a full, normal life after treatment.
Practice preventative medicine
All men should do a monthly self-exam of their testicles after having taken a warm bath or shower, as heat relaxes the scrotum, making it easier to find anything abnormal.
The point of doing a monthly exam is to learn what feels normal, making sure that nothing has changed from the previous month. If a man does notice any change, he can be proactive and get in to see a doctor right away.
Dr. Samadi is a board-certified urologic oncologist trained in open and traditional and laparoscopic surgery and is an expert in robotic prostate surgery. He is chairman of urology, chief of robotic surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital. He is a medical correspondent for the Fox News Channel’s Medical A-Team. Follow Dr. Samadi on Twitter, Instagram, Pintrest, SamadiMD.com and Facebook.
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