Testicular disease can present in many forms including some benign findings
It can be very difficult to discern from life threatening disease states, so it needs to be carefully evaluated by a physician.
The findings can present as either enlargement of the scrotum on one or both sides of the genitals versus areas of firm masses or tenderness that can slowly develop or maybe relatively acute in onset.
It is important to see a physician for any significant pain or changes in the testicles
Similar to women performing monthly breast exams, men should also examine routinely for any significant changes. This can be embarrassing for many men to discuss this with their physician, although delaying evaluation may pose significant risks to your health.
One of the most important findings to evaluate are testicular masses to be sure that this does not represent testicular cancer which is the most common cancer found in men between the ages of 18 and 35, although it can be found outside of that age group as well. The majority of these cases are curable although they need to be diagnosed quickly.
Torsion presents itself very acutely typically with severe pain in the affected testicle where the testicle has twisted its blood supply resulting in the blood supply being compromised. This is usually a significant emergency and needs to be evaluated immediately in order to keep the testicle viable and it should be evaluated in the emergency room upon the first signs of acute testicular pain.
A hydrocele is a fluid collection that develops around the testicle and typically occurs relatively slowly, although it can be the result of an acute process and needs to be evaluated carefully to be sure that it is not the result of a testicular mass or tumor. This can be uncomfortable due to increasing size and requires a complete physical examination to be sure that there is no underlying pathology and it typically can be treated with surgical procedures.
It is difficult to tell with many testicular abnormalities whether they represent significant disease such as testicular cancer versus other more benign findings.
Any abnormality should be evaluated carefully by a physician with physical examination and possible x-ray imaging.