Cancer Care

Testicular Cancer

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is the abnormal growth of cells in the testicles. Like other types of cancer, testicular cancer can spread to other parts of the body if left untreated. Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in men ages 15-35. Most cases of testicular cancer are curable, even if at an advanced stage.

Symptoms of testicular cancer may include:

  • Pain or heaviness in testicle or scrotum
  • Collection of fluid in the scrotum
  • Lump or growth in testicle
  • Pain in the groin, abdomen, or back
  • Swollen or tender breast tissue (caused by hormonal changes)

If your doctor thinks you may be at risk or you are experiencing symptoms, there are several tests that can be done to diagnose testicular cancer. Before doing any of these tests, the doctor will ask about your previous medical history and your family history of cancer.

  • Physical exam
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood tests
  • Biopsy

If the results from the tests are abnormal, the doctor might refer you to a specialist to do more tests and discuss treatment options.

Staging Testicular Cancer

There are 3 stages of testicular cancer. Knowing the stage is helpful to decide which treatment option is the best option.

Stage 1: Cancer is in the testicle.

Stage 2: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the abdomen.

Stage 3: Cancer has spread to other areas in the body.

There are several different treatment options

Your doctor and care team will help you decide which treatment option is best for you based on the stage of cancer, other medical conditions, and your own preferences.

Surgery: There are two surgical procedures that can be used, depending on the stage of testicular cancer.

  • Radical inguinal orchiectomy: surgery to remove the testicle.
  • Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection: surgery to remove lymph nodes in the abdomen.

Chemotherapy and radiation therapy can be used as the only treatment or in combination with a surgical treatment.

  • Chemotherapy: the medicine is taken as pills or injected as a shot. The medicine travels through the body and kills cancer cells.
  • Radiation therapy: high-powered beams are used to kill cancer cells in the body.
  • Both chemotherapy and radiation may be recommended in conjunction with surgery