Factors that increase the risk of a scrotal mass vary because of the variety of causes of abnormalities in the scrotum. Significant risk factors include the following:

Undescended or retractile testicle

An undescended testicle is a testicle that never leaves the abdomen and, therefore, never enters the scrotum during fetal development or early infancy. A retractile testicle is one that has descended into the scrotum at some point but retreats to the abdomen. An undescended or retractile testicle may be linked to an increased risk of:

  • Inguinal hernia
  • Testicular torsion
  • Testicular cancer

Abnormalities present at birth

Abnormalities of the testicles, penis or kidneys present at birth (congenital) may increase the risk of a scrotal mass and testicular cancer later in life.

History of testicular cancer

If you have had cancer in one testicle, you're at increased risk of cancer affecting the other testicle. If your father or brother has had testicular cancer, you also have an increased risk of the cancer.

Jul. 14, 2011