Medical Q&As

Lump in scrotum - worried?

I have had a small lump in my scrotum for the past 3 years. It does not seem to be getting any bigger but another small one seems to be appearing beside it. I got it checked out about 3 years ago and the doctor said that it was just a cyst. Is there any need to worry?

This sounds like a cyst in the epididymis, which is a structure adjacent to the testicle but is a separate and distinct entity. Many men that attend their GP having felt a lump in their scrotum have in fact felt a lump in the epididymis and not in the testicle. There is another condition known as a varicocoele, which can also generate fears that the swelling in the scrotum may be sinister. A varicocoele is a like a small varicose vein and this occurs in the testicular vein, which is part of the spermatic cord, which is attached to the upper pole of the testicle. The spermatic cord can be likened to a stalk from which the testicle is suspended. The essential feature of the epididymal cyst and the varicocoele is that both swellings occur within the scrotum but are separate from the testicle. Epididymal cysts can be multiple and can recur. They are innocent structures and it is quite safe to leave them alone and not treat them. The principal indication for removing them would be if they were very large and causing discomfort. They have no malignant potential. For added peace of mind I would suggest that you ask your GP to re-examine your scrotum and confirm the diagnosis. Once it is confirmed that it is an epididymal cyst you have certainly nothing to worry about.