Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you're experiencing pain, you should get emergency care. If you detect a scrotal mass, you'll probably start by seeing your family doctor. For some diagnostic tests, you may be referred to a specialist in urinary tract and male sexual disorders (urologist). Preparing for your appointment with your doctor or a urologist will help you make the best use of your time. Preparations that you would make for your child's appointment are, for the most part, the same as you would make for yourself.
What you can do
Make a list ahead of time that you can share with your doctor. Your list should include:
- Symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to a scrotal mass
- Key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes
- Medications that you're taking, including any vitamins or supplements
- Family history of testicular cancer or other disorders of the scrotum
- Personal medical history, such as previous scrotal masses, undescended testicle or congenital defects related to the genitals
- Questions to ask your doctor
If you think you have signs or symptoms of a scrotal mass, you may want to ask some of the following questions.
- What tests will I need to diagnose the condition?
- How long will it take to find out the results of tests?
- If the scrotal mass is cancerous (malignant), what are the next steps?
- If the scrotal mass isn't cancerous, will we need to treat the condition?
- Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What websites do you recommend visiting?
What to expect from your doctor
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may reserve time to go over any points you want to spend more time on. Your doctor may ask:
- When did you first discover a lump or experience other symptoms associated with a scrotal mass?
- Are you experiencing pain now, or have you experienced pain?
- Have you had symptoms that may suggest a bacterial or viral infection, such as fever or blood or pus in your urine?
- Have you had a recent injury to the groin?
- Does anything, such as pain medication, improve your symptoms?
- Does anything worsen symptoms, such as exercise or exertion that puts a strain on the groin?
- Did you have an undescended or retractile testicle that was corrected with surgery?
- Have you ever been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease?
- Do you have multiple sex partners or a new sex partner?
- 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.