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Testicle Lumps

Does a Testicle Lump Always Mean Testicular Cancer?

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Updated May 30, 2014

Finding a lump on a testicle can be a stressful discovery for a man. We hear so much about testicular cancer in the media, it is only natural to assume that cancer is the culprit. Contrary to common belief, testicular cancer is not the most most common cause of a testicle lump. There are several reason why a lump may develop in the testicle.

What is a Testicle Lump?

A testicle lump is a mass or swelling found on one or both testicles. They are often found during showering, a testicular self exam (TSE), or by a sexual partner. Testicular lumps can be either painless/painful or moveable/immobile.

Typically, men with testicular cancer experience a painless lump as the one of the initial symptoms of the disease. Testicle lumps related to testicular cancer can be painful - it is just less common. A painless lump on the testicle can also be related more common conditions, such as :
Lumps can be painful, too. Again, testicular cancer painful lumps aren't very common, but can occur. More common causes of a painful testicle lump include:
  • orchitis spermatocele
  • variocele
  • injury
  • infection within the scrotum

A Testicle Lump Should Not Be Confused with the Epididymis

The epididymis can be mistaken for a small testicle lump. The epididymis is a tube-like structure that joins the testicle with the vas deferens. You can find the the epididymis along the back of each testicle. It is soft and can be sometimes more sensitive than other parts of the testicle or scrotum, but never painful.

The epididymis can become swollen and inflamed, causing a lump to appear. This condition is called epididymitis and is often a complication of gonorrhea and chlamydia in young men and adults. Lumps caused by epididymitis often cause panic because men often correlate a lump with testicular cancer.

What to Do If You Find a Testicle Lump

If you discover a lump on your testicle, alert your doctor as soon as possible. Do not wait to see if the lump goes away on it's own. Secondly, be calm. Know that testicular cancer accounts for only 1 percent of all male cancers and unless you are at a higher risk of developing the disease, the testicle lump is most likely related to another condition. It is however important to get the lump evaluated in any case to discover and treat the underlying cause.

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