Definition of Scrotal masses
A scrotal mass is a lump or bulge that can be felt in the scrotum, the sac that contains the testicles.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
A scrotal mass can be benign (generally harmless) or malignant (cancerous). Benign scrotal masses include:
Signs and tests
During a physical examination, the doctor may feel a mass within the scrotum and make note of its features:
ALL scrotal masses should be evaluated by a primary health care provider. Hematoceles, hydroceles, and spermatoceles are usually harmless and do not require treatment. Sudden, temporary conditions may respond to local comfort measures and, in some situations, antibiotics or pain relievers.
Most conditions that cause scrotal masses can be easily treated. Even testicular cancer has a high cure rate with early diagnosis and treatment. Nevertheless, any scrotal mass should be examined promptly by a qualified doctor.
Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington, School of Medicine; Louis S. Liou, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor of Urology, Department of Surgery, Boston University School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 9/22/2009