Symptoms You Have

Males who have felt lumps, pain, or swelling in the testicles, scrotum, abdomen or groin may immediately think of testicular cancer, especially if someone they know has had it. There are other explanations for these symptoms. Only a doctor can examine and test to determine the cause of these symptoms.

The testicles are located in the sac of skin called the scrotum, which hangs beneath the base of the penis. The fact that the testicles are so close to other structures explains why sometimes-other issues besides something with the testicles cause the symptoms felt by males. Only a medical doctor or urologist can make a diagnosis of testicular cancer.

Common signs and symptoms males will experience are lumps or masses, swelling, and pain. They can have these symptoms associated with the testicles, the scrotum, or the abdomen and even the groin area. The first thought most males have is cancer whenever something feels wrong or a lump is felt.

Cancer is not the only explanation though for these symptoms. Other causes of these symptoms can be an infection, an injury in the area, or something else including non-cancerous causes.

Usually the lumps found by males doing self-examinations are painless. Sometimes the lumps may feel uncomfortable, but rarely are they painful. Normal testicles feel bumpy because of the presence of blood vessels, supporting tissues, and the tubes that conduct sperm. Sometimes when a male does a self-exam it is these structures that he is feeling. Always report any abnormal feelings to your doctor. An ultrasound usually puts the male and the doctor at ease, as it is the easiest way to determine if there is cancer present. The ultrasound is quick and painless.

Other causes of what a male is feeling during a self-exam may be explained by non-cancerous conditions such as torsion or twisting of the testicle. This is a serious situation as the blood supply to the testicle is being cut off. If the testicle is not untwisted by surgery within approximately 6 hours, the testicle will not be able to be saved and will have to be removed.

Injury is another explanation for symptoms. Physical injury in the area may cause the scrotum to fill with blood, which can be very painful.

Bacteria and viruses can cause infection in the scrotum.

Epididymitis is a bacterial infection of the epididymis, which is the coiled tube located next to each of the testicles and is where the sperm are stored. Pain upon urination can be felt as well as a fever and a milky discharge from the penis if the male has epididymitis. Treatment is with antibiotics.

Orchitis is inflammation of the testicles. It can be painful and can happen in one or both of the testicles. Viral infections such as the mumps can cause orchitis.

Other conditions that can cause similar symptoms to testicular cancer are hydrocele, varicocele, epididymal cyst, inguinal hernia and kidney stones.

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