Is This Lump a Symptom of Testicular Cancer?

What It May Indicate and What You Should Do About It

Close-up of a young man wiping himself with a towel
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Finding a lump on your testicle can be scary. We hear so much about testicular cancer in the media, it's only natural to assume that cancer is the culprit. Contrary to common belief, however, testicular cancer is not the most common cause of a lump on your testicle. There are several other things that may explain why that lump is there.

What Is This Lump on My Testicle?

A testicular lump is a mass or swelling found on one or both testicles.

They are often found while taking a shower, while performing a testicular self-exam (TSE), or by a partner while engaged in sexual activity. Testicular lumps can be painless or painful. They can also be movable or immobile.

Typically, men with testicular cancer experience a painless lump as one of the initial symptoms of the disease. Not to say that testicular lumps related to testicular cancer can't be painful—it's just much less common.

A painless lump on the testicle can also be related to more common conditions, such as:

As mentioned, lumps can be painful, too. Again, painful lumps associated with testicular cancer aren't very common, but they can occur. More common causes of a painful testicle lump include:

A Testicular Lump Should Not Be Confused with the Epididymis

The epididymis is sometimes mistaken for a small, testicular lump. In actuality, the epididymis is a tube-like structure that joins the testicle with the vas deferens.

You can find the epididymis along the back of each testicle. It is soft and can sometimes be more sensitive than other parts of the testicle or scrotum. But you should never have pain there.

The epididymis can become swollen and inflamed, causing a lump to appear. This condition is called epididymitis and is often a complication of gonorrhea and chlamydia in young men and adults. Lumps caused by epididymitis often cause panic, as it's so natural to assume that the lump might be related to testicular cancer.

What to Do If You Find a Testicular Lump

If you discover a lump on your testicle, alert your doctor as soon as possible. While it’s important to be proactive, don’t let anxiety get the best of you -- keep in mind that testicular cancer accounts for only one percent of all male cancers and unless you are at a higher risk of developing the disease, the lump on your testicle is most likely related to another condition.

It is, however, important to get the lump evaluated anyway in order to discover and treat the underlying cause.

A Word From Verywell

Women are regularly advised to perform a monthly breast self-exam. Similarly, men should also conduct a self-examination of their testicles.

This will help you detect growths that could potentially be cancerous. Caught in the early stages, testicular cancer is almost always treatable.

And if you're especially concerned, you should educate yourself on the other common symptoms of testicular cancer.


American Cancer Society. (2016) Do I Have Testicular Cancer?

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