article icon

Testicular lumps

Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen MartinReviewed on 19.10.2023 | 3 minutes read

Testicular lumps are more common than you would think and can be caused by a variety of things. The majority of these are nothing serious, but they should always be checked out by your doctor. This is because a small number of cases may be cancerous. The good news is the survival rate for testicular cancer is high, especially when caught early and treated. Healthwords advises that anyone with testicles should remember to check them at least once a month. This is different from prostate cancer.

How to check your testicles

It is best to check your testicles during or after a warm shower or bath. This is because it helps the skin around the testicles become softer, so you can have a more thorough feel. They should feel smooth and firm, with a soft tube (known as the epididymis) behind each one. You should also check for any skin changes. It is normal for one testicle to be slightly bigger than the other or sit slightly lower. However, if this is a change from your normal, then you should get it checked out by your doctor.

Common causes of lumps

Most lumps are not cancerous. The most common causes are a collection of fluid known as a cyst, a swollen vein, or changes due to inflammation or injury. Inflammation and injury tend to cause painful swelling. Your doctor can help differentiate what type of lump it is by having a feel and occasionally shining a light through the lump (this helps to test whether there is any fluid present). If they are unsure, you may be referred to have an ultrasound scan or see a specialist.

Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is not a common type of cancer, but it is one that mainly affects young adults. The highest occurrence is in males in their 30s; however, it can affect any age. The most common first symptom is a lump, so we recommend having a feel of your testicles regularly. Other symptoms can include an increase in the size of one testicle, a feeling of heaviness, and rarely there may be some pain. However, pain is much more commonly associated with non-cancerous causes of testicular lumps. There are different types of testicular cancer depending on what kind of cell the tumor has developed from. Your doctor will guide you on the different types and the next steps for determining the type of testicular cancer and the treatment. Most treatments do involve the removal of the testicle that has cancer, but it shouldn’t affect your ability to have sex or have children in the future. The testicle that was removed can be replaced with a prosthetic if you would like.

When to see your doctor

You should see your doctor if you notice any change in your testicles or the skin around them. You should also see the doctor if you feel a heaviness or pain in one of your testicles. Some people worry about having to show their genitals to the doctor, but the fact is – they will have seen it all before. Your healthcare professional is experienced and professional, and seeing your doctor will be the quickest way to put your mind at ease. You can also request to see a male doctor if that would make you feel more comfortable.

Was this helpful?

Was this helpful?

This article has been written by UK-based doctors and pharmacists, so some advice may not apply to US users and some suggested treatments may not be available. For more information, please see our T&Cs.
Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed by Dr Karen Martin
Reviewed on 19.10.2023
App Store
Google Play
Piff tick
Version 2.28.0
© 2024 Healthwords Ltd. All Rights Reserved