Possible causes of a painful scrotal mass include:
- A cyst-like lump in the scrotum that contains fluid and dead sperm cells (spermatocele). (This condition sometimes does not cause pain.)
- Infection of the scrotal sac.
- Injury or trauma.
- Orchitis (testicular infection).
- Testicular torsion.
- Testicular cancer.
Possible causes if the scrotal mass is not painful:
A testicle lump that does not hurt may be a sign of cancer. Most cases of testicular cancer occur in men ages 15 to 40. It can also occur at older or younger ages.
A testicle lump is swelling or a growth (mass) in one or both testicles.
Starting in puberty, men at risk for testicular cancer may be taught to do regular exams of their testicles. This includes men with:
- A family history of testicular cancer
- A past tumor of the testicle
- An undescended testicle, even if the testicle on the other side has descended
If you have a lump in your testicle, tell your health care provider right away. A lump on the testicle may be the first sign of testicular cancer. Many men with testicular cancer have been given a wrong diagnosis. Therefore, it is important to go back to your provider if you have a lump that doesn't go away.
What to Expect at Your Office Visit
- When did you notice the lump?
- Have you had any previous lumps?
- Do you have any pain? Does the lump change in size?
- Exactly where on the testicle is the lump? Is only one testicle involved?
- Have you had any recent injuries or infections? Have you ever had surgery on your testicles or in the area?
- What other symptoms do you have?
- Is there scrotal swelling?
- Do you have abdominal pain or lumps or swelling anywhere else?
- Were you born with both testicles in the scrotum?
Tests and treatments depend on the results of the physical exam.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your provider right away if you notice any unexplained lumps or any other changes in your testicles.
Elder JS. Disorders and anomalies of the scrotal contents. In: Kliegman RM, Stanton BF, St. Geme JW, Schor NF, eds. Nelson Textbook of Pediatrics. 20th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 545.
Palmer LS, Palmer JS. Management of abnormalities of the external genitalia in boys. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 146.
Stephenson AJ. Gilligan TD. Neoplasms of the testis. In: Wein AJ, Kavoussi LR, Partin AW, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh Urology. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2016:chap 34.
US Preventive Services Task Force. Screening for testicular cancer: US Preventive Services Task Force reaffirmation recommendation statement. Ann Intern Med. 2011;154(7):483-486. PMID: 21464350