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"Cyst or cancer?"

ZocdocAnswersCyst or cancer?


I found what felt like a smooth, firm, spherical lump that feels like a BB. Shortly after, a clinic doctor palpated my testicles and told me he felt nothing out of the ordinary, but he wasn't able to find the lump. Fast-forward to now. As far as I can tell, the mass is still there and has not changed in size. I have no pain or swelling in either of my testicles. I've done some serious self-examination and determined that the mass is most likely not directly attached to the teste itself, though it's difficult to determine when my scrotum is not completely relaxed. I have also attempted to transilluminate the area, and from what I can tell the mass allows light to pass through (though my epididymis, which is next to it, does not). All of my self-collected evidence suggests I have an epididymal cyst, and although I haven't been diagnosed, I am kind of convinced a doctor would tell me the same thing. Is this normally how cancer feels? Or should I be a little less worried?


You've definitely done all the right things up to now, such as examining the lump that you found multiple times to make sure that it is not growing in size or changing in any way, as those would be more concerning for cancer of the testicle. Also, cancer of the testicle is usually palpated as a firm nodule within the testicle itself, not outside the testicle, as seems to be in your case. There are numerous conditions that could cause a small lump like this that is mobile and outside of the testicle. One of these is definitely an epididymal cyst, which would be a benign condition. Also, a small varicocele, which is an enlargement of the veins that surround the spermatic cord within the scrotum, also a benign condition. I'd recommend continued followup with your primary care doctor. They will be able to keep an eye on the lump over time to make sure that there is no concern that it is growing or changing. If there is any concern at all for cancer, they will be able to order an ultrasound of the testicle, which is the first test that is usually used to rule this out. Book an appointment today!

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