When I was 15, I discovered a lump on each of my testicles.
The lumps are very close to the Epididymis and I find it hard to distinguish if they are actually part of the testicle or are part of the Epididymis.
The lump on my left testicle is quite hard, about the size of a grain of rice. It doesn't have much shape, it just feels like a bit of gristle.
The lump on my right testicle is very squigy. and very small.
Soon after discovering the lumps I had an ultrasound, and the ultrasound didn't detect anything bad.
Then when I was 18, the lumps started to worry me again for some reason. (I'm diagnosed anxiety/health anxiety) so I went back to the doctor so he could check them out. He examined me and said no ultrasound was needed, he said that both of the lumps were Epididymal cysts.
I understand that the right one may be a cyst, but the left lump is quite hard - Can cysts be hard?
Maybe I'm feeling the appendix testis or appendix Epididymis?
I'm just worrying again that I don't have something bad. I've had the lumps for 4 years, if they were something bad by now would I have had other symptoms?
You did everything right. I really give you credit for doing self exams and following your instincts for a second check when you turned 18.
The ultrasound told the doctor what he needed to know especially if the lumps haven't changed in all that time. You can try Wikipedia and do a search for Epididymus, the diagram may show you the area your feeling.
I would recommend monitoring the lumps. This is something you should stay on top of but don't let it rule your life. There are instances where a lump can become cancerous down the road but as long as you don't see any changes and you follow up with a urologist as needed, you should be just fine.
If its any consolation testicular cancer is about 98 percent curable, even late stage tc has a good outcome. Most guys find tc lumps when their much bigger than yours, with your vigilance you shouldn't worry. You did what you needed to, your educated to know what to look for, you can tell your anxiety "I'm in control."
I think the best advice i can give is for you to try another urologist if you do notice its getting larger. (cysts get larger also)
Your going to have to decide how far to take this. Should you forget about it? NO. At some point though you will need to go with the knowledge your doctor has in his field.
A testicular cancer lump will grow and be directly connected to the testicle itself.
As far as a cyst feeling hard you cant tell ' for sure' by feeling any 'lump' if its a cyst or cancer that's why the ultrasound is done. That combined with how long its been there without change helped your doctor to determine whats going on. Like I said before, some lumps can become cancerous later on so your part is to see if it gets larger and then try a different doctor and ask that blood tests for tumor markers are done. A doctor will usually only run a blood test if they suspect something but you can certainly bring it up for peace of mind. I suggested a new doctor simply because your doctor may feel you don't trust him and be a bit resentful.
First- Keep monitoring size
Second- If you notice a change see a new urologist for another opinion (blood tests)
In the meantime relax.
The ultrasound probably showed your doctor if it was on the epididymus or not.
I just threw that part about the blood tests out there for you to keep in mind for the future. The blood tests for AFP,HCG,LDH are a specific test so I'm not sure that it would be ordered for a routine physical for instance.
High levels of HCG and or AFP can indicate active cancer. (in this case testicular cancer.) They can also help identify what type of cells are present. The LDH indicates if there is some type of damage going on in the body. There are different types of testicular cancer and the treatment will depend for one on the cell type of the tumor.
Here's the thing. Not every guy who has tc will show a rise in these tumor markers. My boyfriend was one of those who had tc but didn't show elevated marker numbers. So yes the test can be used to indicate cancer (in those that 'do' show elevated markers) its also used to see how well the person is responding to treatment. If your marker numbers were high to start then after say chemo or radiation they go way down it tells the doctor your responding well to treatment. See? So its not a sure indicator that you have cancer (like in my boyfriends case) but if you do show elevated numbers then it shows active cancer is present.
I know its confusing but in your case you don't have to worry. If in the future you had a lump attached to your testicle that was growing then you could talk to your doctor about having the blood test done.
Four years and no change is a good thing. You got a clean bill of health and you can enjoy being 19. :)
Thanks for the reply and explanation. Greatly appreciate it.
When the lump on my left testicle appeared and I had the scan I think it started out soft and then turned hard.
But as I said I had my doctor feel and examine it and he was confident it was a small cyst and no ultrasound was needed.
I am going to see my doctor in a few weeks and I can ask him to examine me again to see what he thinks, even though it probably isn't needed. I feel my anxiety going really out of whack about this again.
Recently I've been worrying again because I think the size of my right testicle might have increased a bit but I don't know for sure... My left testicle is smaller than my right and my left testicle hangs lower which I know is normal, but sometimes my testicles hang at the same level
This isn't testicular cancer related but I just wanted to tell you when something really bothers you try to keep really busy and throw yourself into things you really enjoy. Whatever it is keep your mind as active as possible.
Anxiety produces harmful chemicals in the body so worry defeats you in several ways.
Have you tried the anxiety forum on this site? There are some really great people that come to Med Help to give advice.... some of them have been through the same thing.
Your symptoms sound normal (size)
Feel free if you have anymore questions.
I do find that when I'm focused and busy doing something I don't worry about this and I don't get any of the symptoms I describe.
I will take a look at the anxiety section on here, I might find something helpful!
I just seem to be picking small things out and worrying like crazy about them, for example today my right testicle started to hang lower than my left testicle which made me think even more that my right testicle must be increasing in size. I do think it's just this horrible anxiety that's making me think this though.
I forgot to add, it is quite strange that my other testicle started to hang lower than my other one though? Surely they shouldn't alternate and only one should hang lower than the other? Hmm, so many factors!!
Temperature will affect how your testicles hang. (actually its the scrotum that hangs)
Don't forget body parts preform a job there not going to be symmetrical. The scrotum helps regulate the temperature of the testicles which need to be cooler than your body temp to produce sperm. So the scrotum is working to protect sperm and will look different at different times.
Try listening to your favorite music its one of the best ways to change your mood and clear your mind. A good walk or other exercise that REALLY tires you out helps to.
Thanks for the reply again. It's good to know that it's normal. I just thought it was a bit weird because sometimes they'd both hang the same height, another time the left would be slightly lower and then another time the right would be slighty lower.
I've been having abdomen/lower back pain lately but I think it's because I've got somewhat of a bad stomach.
On the subject of anxiety I have recently joined a gym which hopefully should help me. :)
I have one more question, I was feeling my left testicle today and I noticed I felt a very thin vein that runs across the testicle. It's nothing to do with the epididymis, it's actually ON the testicle.
I did some research and looked at some pictures and it looks like testicles to have small veins on them, but my right testicle is very smooth and I can't feel any veins on that one.
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