Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Do testicle lumps always mean cancer?"
Are there other reasons for lumps? I am 24, I thought to young for cancer.
Testicular lumps do not always mean you have cancer. That being said, there are some forms of testicular cancer that do present at your age, so you should make sure to talk with you primary care physician soon to have it evaluated. There are a number of causes of "lumps" in the scrotum. Sometimes when a fetus is developing, a connection between the abdomen and scrotum does not properly close and fluid can enter the sac. This is called a hydrocele. Sometimes the blood vessels going to the scrotum can become engorged leading to a varicocele. This can happen for a number of reasons including inflammation, anatomic abnormalities, renal cancer, etc. Sometimes a remnant of an embryological structure can become dilated and cystic leading to a spermatocele. These are all fluid-filled structures, but they can feel hard on physical exam. A quick (but not foolproof) way to tell whether they are fluid-filled or solid is to "transilluminate" them. In other words, shine a light behind the scrotum and if you can see the light through the tissue as a red glow then it is likely cystic or fluid filled. If it is solid and opaque, then it is cancer until proven otherwise. That said, even cystic masses can harbor cancer. As such, this is something you should definitely have evaluated by your primary care doctor.
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