Epididymitis is a term used to describe inflammation of the epididymis. The epididymis is part of the male anatomy, a picture of which is shown. The scrotum, or sac, contains a testicle on each side. The testicle has two functions. It makes testosterone, the male hormone, which is absorbed into the blood stream. It also makes sperm, which travels from the testicle into a series of tubes which collectively form the epididymis. The epididymis sits to the side and in back of the testis. Sperm leaves the epididymis by way of the vas deferens (this is the tube that is divided during a vasectomy) which travels to join the seminal vesicles and prostate. Sperm mixes with fluid from the seminal vesicles and prostate to produce the semen, the fluid that comes out from the penis at the time of ejaculation.
1. Small Lump or Hardened Area The most common sign of testicular cancer is a small lump—usually pea-sized— or a hardened area found on one of the testicles. It is important to understand that a healthy testicle will feel bumpy, because it houses numerous blood vessels, sperm tubes, and reproductive tissue. However, if the lump you feel is hard like a bean or feels different from tissue on the other testicle, it is important to follow up with a physician for a more thorough examination. Just because you find a lump, does not necessarily mean that you have testicular cancer; it could be symptomatic of a less serious disorder, including varicocele (an enlargement of blood vessels), a small cyst called a spermatocele, or an inguinal hernia. Since early diagnosis is the best predictor of a successful recovery, it is important not to put off a trip to the doctor. No matter what the cause, it will require some form of treatment.