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Lumps and bumps in the scrotum?

Abnormalities of the testicle are quite common. They include water on the testicle (hydrocele), lumps of the epididymis (epididymal cyst), swellings caused by infection (epididymitis and orchitis). All of these are benign. Remember however that amateur diagnosis is a relatively dangerous sport and if you are in any doubt get checked by a doctor, don't take any risks.

Click on the play button below. The animation will demonstrate how the testes and its coverings can swell for reasons other than cancer.

How can I check my testicle for lumps?

Luckily we have the benefit of having two testicles. This helps enormously to identify differences that may be significant. To perform testicular self examination, something that men should perform once a fortnight grasp one of the testicles with one hand and use it to control the movement of the testicle as your other hand examines. You are searching for several things :-

  • The first step is to identify the anatomy, feeling through the skin of the scrotum, try to identify the epididymis and the body of the testicle. It is the body of the testicle where testicular cancers most commonly arise.
  • Solid lumps arising from the body (or rugby ball part of the testicle).
  • The testes should have a little bit of give when squeezed. When a testicle contains testicular cancer it gradually becomes much harder than the normal testicle.
  • It is quite common for men to come to their doctor with a testicular cancer after a sporting injury. The injury does not cause the cancer but it leads to the examination and then the discovery of a lump.
  • Click on the play movie button next to the diagram to see this information as an animation.

See also the testicular tumour section

What can cause a lump in the scrotum?

Hydrocele - water on the testicle. This causes a diffuse swelling of one side of the scrotum, it usually becomes difficult to feel the testicle separately.

Epididymal cysts, these are little lumps next to the epididymis, they contain fluid and are harmless

Hernia - these can drop down from the abdomen to fill the scrotum

Infection, this causes a diffuse and painful swelling of the whole testicle

Cancer, this can cause a dragging sensation within the testicle, the tumour can often be felt as an irregular area of the testicle

Do not attempt an amateur diagnosis, If you are worried check with your doctor




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