Most scrotal masses require minimally invasive treatment or no treatment at all, but some require more-serious procedures.
Scrotal masses caused by a bacterial infection, as is usually the case with epididymitis, are treated with antibiotics. Viral infections causing epididymitis or orchitis are usually treated with rest, ice and pain relief medication.
Noncancerous (benign) scrotal masses
Benign scrotal masses may be left untreated or surgically removed, repaired or drained. These treatment decisions depend on such factors as whether the scrotal mass:
- Causes discomfort or pain
- Contributes to infertility
- Increases the risk of infertility
- Becomes infected
A specialist in cancer treatment (oncologist) will recommend treatments based on whether the cancer is isolated to a testicle or has spread to other tissues in the body. Your age and overall health also are factors in choosing treatment options for testicular cancer.
- Radical inguinal orchiectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the affected testicle and spermatic cord through an incision in the groin. This procedure is the primary treatment for testicular cancer. If the cancer has spread to lymph nodes in your abdomen, they also may be removed (lymph node dissection).
- Radiation therapy uses high-dose X-rays or other high-energy radiation to kill cancer cells that may remain after removal of the affected testicle.
- Chemotherapy is a drug treatment that uses powerful chemicals to kill cancer cells.
Most cases of testicular cancer can be cured, but close follow-up care is necessary to watch for possible recurring cancer.
Jul. 14, 2011
- Montgomery JS, et al. The diagnosis and management of scrotal masses. Medical Clinics of North America. 2011;95:235.
- Wampler SM, et al. Common scrotal and testicular problems. Primary Care: Clinics in Office Practice. 2010;37:613.
- Tiemstra JD, et al. Evaluation of scrotal masses. American Family Physician. 2008;78:1165.
- Trojian TH, et al. Epididymitis and orchitis: An overview. American Family Physician. 2009;79:583.
- Hagerty JA, et al. Pediatric scrotal masses. Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 2009;10:50.
- Testicular self-exam. American Cancer Society. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicularcancer/moreinformation/doihavetesticularcancer/do-i-have-testicular-cancer-self-exam. Accessed May 10, 2011.