Lumps or swelling on your testicles (scrotal masses) are usually benign. But in rare cases, they may be a sign of cancer. They can also be a sign of other conditions, including an infection, hernia or swollen vein. A healthcare provider should examine your scrotum and testicles and order tests to determine the cause of any lumps or swelling.
A lump on a testicle is a growth that can form on or around your testicle (testis). Testicles are walnut-shaped sex glands in the thin pouch of skin behind your penis (scrotum). Most people with testicles have two, but you can have more or fewer. They produce reproductive cells (sperm) and the hormone testosterone.
A testicular lump can be a symptom of other medical conditions, most of which aren’t serious. Most scrotal masses are benign (not cancerous). However, some testicle lumps can affect fertility. In some cases, they can even be a sign of a serious condition, such as testicular cancer.
Another name for a lump on your testicle is a scrotal mass.
Call a healthcare provider right away to schedule an appointment if you notice a lump on your testicle. A provider can diagnose what kind of scrotal mass you have and, if necessary, recommend the most appropriate treatment. If a testicular lump is a sign of a more serious condition, it’s important to get treatment as soon as possible.
Some people discover a lump on their testicles during a testicular self-exam. In other cases, they or a partner may notice it during sexual activity.
It depends on the cause. A scrotal mass can appear on any area of your testicle. It can also appear in an area around your testicle.
Testicular lumps are common. Most lumps you may discover on or around your testicles aren’t cancerous. But you should still schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider to get an official diagnosis and proper treatment, if necessary.
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The most common causes of testicular lumps include:
Testicular lump symptoms depend on their cause and/or the size of your lump. Some types of testicular bumps may cause few or no symptoms and won’t bother you at all. More bothersome symptoms may include:
Some types of conditions that cause testicular lumps may also affect your ability to achieve pregnancy (infertility).
Testicular cysts usually feel like small, hard lumps.
Testicular cancer lumps usually feel hard to the touch.
Testicular cancer warning signs include:
Cancer lumps usually appear in your testicle.
A healthcare provider will:
They may also order several tests to identify the cause of the scrotal mass, including:
With proper treatment, symptoms from testicular lumps can resolve. It’s important to seek treatment as soon as you notice any changes to your testicles to avoid any possible complications.
Treatment for a scrotal lump depends on the cause. If your testicular lump doesn’t cause you any pain or discomfort and isn’t a sign of a serious condition, you might not need treatment.
Standard therapies for scrotal masses may include:
It depends on what type of scrotal mass you have. Most lumps on your testicle are harmless. Epididymitis and orchitis may cause:
Testicular cancer can also cause infertility. Without treatment, it can also be fatal.
The earlier you see a healthcare provider to diagnose your scrotal mass, the better your chances of avoiding serious complications.
You can’t prevent some causes of testicular lumps. However, it’s a good idea to regularly check your scrotum or testicles for lumps or any other changes. You only need to spend a few moments conducting a testicular self-exam once a month.
You can help prevent bacterial or viral causes by:
Call a healthcare provider if you:
A testicular cyst is a fluid-filled bump. It usually feels softer.
A testicular cancer lump is usually more solid than a cyst. It feels harder to the touch.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Testicular lumps are a common symptom that can appear in anyone with testicles at different ages. Most scrotal masses aren’t cancer and don’t pose a risk to your health. But they can be alarming, and there’s a chance they could be serious, especially if they appear along with other symptoms. Some masses can cause infertility or even be fatal without a proper diagnosis and necessary treatment. It’s important to see a healthcare provider as soon as you notice a lump on your testicle. You may worry or feel awkward about the idea of someone examining your testicles. But a provider will do everything they can to make you comfortable.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/10/2023.
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