Lumps and bumps can form all over the body, sometimes even in the genital region. Testicular lumps in men, similar to those found in the breast, are common and can be benign or a serious disease such as cancer. It is important to  understand what is normal and what is abnormal when it comes to these lumps.

Cancer Risk Factors

Anyone can develop testicular cancer, but certain risk factors increase the likelihood. Men between the ages of 15 and 35 are the most-diagnosed age group. The disease is also more common in white men than men of color. Men with undescended testicles or those with previous development issues are more likely to develop this type of cancer. A family history of the illness also increases risk.


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A hydrocele is a technical term for a collection of clear fluid in the body. The fluid causes swelling that is usually painful and tender. Hydroceles can result from injury, surgery, or no obvious reason. The affected testicle will be larger than normal. Most hydroceles resolve on their own, but if the symptom persists, the patient may require a procedure to have it drained.


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Calcifications are another common cause of lumps in the testicles. They form from salts or calcium inside the body. This is the same process that causes kidney stones. These lumps can occur in the testicles and are usually symptom-free, only requiring treatment or removal if they cause pain or continue to grow.


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Hernias are common in the groin and are often the cause of testicle lumps. They develop when an organ or fatty tissues protrude through the abdominal wall and cause a mass. Hernias are usually the result of extreme strain. Symptoms include a burning sensation and mild to moderate pain. Anyone with a hernia should see a doctor promptly to ensure no larger issue is at play. The lumps often heal on their own, but some may need surgery.


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Inflammation of the testicle is called orchitis. This symptom can arise due to infection or injury and cause a hardness. If the affected man has recently experienced injury to the area, the testicle may simply need time to heal. Infections and illnesses can also cause swelling, however, so any otherwise unexplained inflammation should be investigated by a doctor.


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A varicocele is another kind of lump that can form anywhere in the body, including the testicles. The lump is comprised of a group of veins. Varicoceles are painful and tend to be more uncomfortable when standing or attempting to lift an object. Though they often go away on their own, it is best to see a doctor to ensure no alternative treatment is required. In some cases, the physician may recommend surgery. The procedure is relatively simple and minimally invasive.


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Cysts are one of the most common lumps found throughout the body, in both men and women. Epididymal cysts form in the testicles. They are harmless and should not cause pain. Upon examination, doctors are usually able to identify cysts immediately. The fluid-filled sacs are more common in men over 40, but they can occur at any age. Cysts that continue to grow and begin to cause pain can be surgically removed if necessary.


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When to See a Doctor

Though a lump in the testicles can indicate a serious condition or benign side effect, it is always ideal to speak to a doctor when one notices any new growth, regardless of location. That being said, a testicular lump caused by a serious illness will likely be accompanied by other symptoms, including a heavy feeling in the scrotum, aching or pain in the abdomen or groin, or a sudden collection of fluids in the area. If you are at all concerned about the lump, if you experience other symptoms in the area or elsewhere in the body, or if the growth has not resolved in a week, make an appointment with a doctor.


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Treating testicles lumps depends on the cause. In many cases, lumps need minimal treatment and subside on their own. Lumps that become a nuisance, cause pain, or continue to grow may not be medically problematic, but could at least affect the quality of life. A surgeon can remove these lumps, usually with a fairly straightforward and safe procedure.


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Painful Lumps

Pain is not often associated with serious issues like testicular cancer. Benign growths such as those caused by cysts and inflammation are more likely to cause mild to moderate pain as they increase in size. If you discover a testicular lump, take note of any additional symptoms to be sure you can answer the doctor's questions comprehensively. It is best to investigate any issues that worry you, rather than waiting.


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