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Genitourinary Oncology Program

Patient and Family Education

Testicular Cancer

Symptoms and Diagnosis

If a man experiences any of the following symptoms, he should see a doctor:

The doctor will examine the testicles and feel for lumps. If the scrotum doesn’t feel normal, the doctor may need to do an ultrasound examination, which uses sound waves to make a picture of the inside of the testes. Blood tests can also be used to look for proteins or enzymes that are typically secreted by certain types of tumors.

The doctor may need to surgically remove the testicle in order to perform a biopsy, an examination of tissue under a microscope to see if there are any cancer cells. In rare cases, the biopsy is performed without severing the testicle. More often, if the doctor suspects cancer, the testicle is removed before the biopsy is performed.

The chance of recovery (prognosis) and choice of treatment for cancer of the testicle depend on the stage of the cancer (whether it is just in the testicle or has spread to other places) and the patient’s general state of health.

This page was last updated on: October 6, 2009.