Testicular Lump: What Can Cause A Lump On Testicles And How Is It Treated?
What Is Testicular Lump?
If an individual observes an abnormal mass in the testicles then it is termed as a Testicular Lump. The testicles are an egg-shaped organ which is located in the scrotum. The main function of the testicle is to produce sperms and testosterone. A lump may be present in one or both testicles and is quite common. These testicle lumps can occur in both adults as well as teenagers. If an individual observes a lump on testicles, then it signifies a problem in the testicular area. There may be many causes for formation of a Testicular Lump to include injuries, infection, or an underlying medical condition like testicular cancer or testicular torsion. It is not that all Testicular Lump indicates the presence of a testicular cancer, although if an individual observes a lump on testicles then he should seek immediate medical attention to rule out serious conditions. It is also advisable that any male above the age of 14 should do self examinations to look for any lumps in the testicular area.
What Can Cause A Lump On Testicles?
Majority of Testicular Lump occur due to an injury, although certain birth defects and other factors can also be the reason for a Testicular Lump. Some of the conditions which can cause a Testicular Lump are:
Varicocele: This is the most common condition which causes a Testicular Lump. This lump is caused due to enlarged veins in the testicles. These lumps on testicles are observed more after the individual attains puberty.
Hydrocele: This type of Testicular Lump is caused due to buildup of fluid in the testicles. This lump is observed in about 2 of every 100 males born.
Epididymal Cyst: Also known by the name of Spermatocele, this occurs when the epididymis is filled with fluid which is not able to be drained out. It is a relatively benign condition and resolves on its own without any specific treatment.
Testicular Torsion: This is by far the most serious cause of Testicular Lump. Testicular torsion is caused due to twisting of the testicles and requires immediate surgery to correct this. If left untreated it may lead to infertility or tissue necrosis.
Testicular Cancer: This is also a more serious cause of Testicular Lump. The physician will take a biopsy of the lump and confirm whether the lump is cancerous or not. If testicular cancer is detected then appropriate treatment plan will be formulated.
What Are Some Of The Symptoms Of Testicular Lump?
The symptoms caused by a Testicular Lump are variable and depend on the cause of the lump, although in nearly all the cases of Testicular Lump there is swelling and changes in texture of the testicle.
If varicocele is the cause for the Lump on Testicular then the affected testicle may feel a bit heavy than the unaffected one
In case if hydrocele is the cause for Testicular Lump, then most of the time it is painless, especially in children but in adults it may cause some abdominal pressure. There will also be observable swelling of the testicles.
In case of spermatocele, again the affected testicle will feel a bit heavier than the unaffected one.
For testicular torsion, there will be severe pain and swelling of the testicle. Additionally, there will be the following symptoms:
- Pain in the abdomen
- Increased urinary frequency
- Scrotal swelling
If the lump in testicle is due to testicular cancer then the following symptoms will be observed:
- Dull ache in abdomen
- Scrotal heaviness
- Severe pain
- Sudden fluid buildup in the scrotum.
How Is Testicular Lump Diagnosed?
If an individual observes Testicular Lump then it is imperative that he consults with the treating physician to identify the cause of the lump. In case if an individual observes symptoms which are similar to that of a testicular torsion them he should immediately go to the nearest emergency room because if this condition is left untreated then it may cause infertility or tissue necrosis.
Before, an individual goes to the physician, it is important that he notes down all the symptoms that he has been experiencing and the duration of the symptoms. The individual needs to be aware of any history of injury to the area. In order to confirm the diagnosis, the physician will carefully examine the testicle area and look for swelling or tenderness. Most of the Testicular Lumps are diagnosed by just visual inspection of the area. In order to identify the cause of Testicular Lump the physician may order the following tests:
Ultrasound: An ultrasound of the testicles will be done to look for inflow and outflow of the blood in the testicles
Blood Test: Blood tests will also be done to rule out infections as a cause for Testicular Lump.
Biopsy: A testicular biopsy will also be done in which a specimen of the lump will be taken and sent to the lab for analysis to look for malignant tissues and thus rule in or out testicular cancer.
What Are The Treatments For Testicular Lump?
If the Testicular Lump is caused by a varicocele, then it does not require any specific treatment as it resolves on its own, although the individual may be given over the counter pain medications for pain relief and reduce inflammation. In cases of recurring episodes of varicocele then surgery may be required decongesting the veins.
If Testicular Lump is caused by hydrocele, then also it does not require specific treatment unless the condition becomes recurrent when surgery may be done to drain the fluid.
A Testicular Lump caused by spermatocele also does not require any specific treatment unless there is pain and discomfort in which case surgery may be done to drain the cyst.
Testicular Lump caused by Testicular Torsion requires emergent surgery so that blood flow is restored in the testicles and damage to the tissues is prevented.
In case if the Testicular Lump is caused by testicular cancer then the regular protocol for treating cancer is followed like surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Treatment is much more successful if the cancer is detected early enough. Surgical removal of the testicle may be done so as to prevent the cancer from spreading to other parts of the body.