Overview

About Testicular Cancer

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About Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a disease in which cancerous cells form in the tissues of one or both of the testicles.

Signs & Symptoms

These are signs of testicular cancer:

  • A painless lump or swelling in either testicle
  • A change in how the testicle feels
  • A dull ache in the lower abdomen or the groin
  • A sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum
  • Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum

Many other health problems can also cause these signs. If you have any of these signs, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.

Learn more about testicular cancer from the National Cancer Institute.

Image of the Male Reproductive System

anatomical drawing of the male reproductive system

The male reproductive and urinary systems, showing the testicles, prostate, bladder, and other organs.

Specialties & Treatments

The treatment or combination of treatments each patient has depends on the stage of the cancer, recommendations of the care team, and the patient’s wishes. These are the most common types of treatment: 

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy
  • Watchful waiting

Huntsman Cancer Institute’s Urologic Cancers Program provides comprehensive, compassionate, state-of-the-art care for people with testicular cancer. Our experts treat and diagnose all types of urologic cancers and conditions.

Learn more about types of cancer treatments.

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Causes & Risk Factors

Anything that increases your chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean you are sure to get cancer. It means your chances are higher than the average person’s. Talk with your doctor to learn more about your cancer risk.

These are risk factors for testicular cancer:

  • A personal history of testicular cancer
  • Having an undescended testicle
  • Having an abnormal development of the testicles

Learn more about ways to prevent cancer and about cancer screenings.

Diagnosis & Stages

Diagnosis of Testicular Cancer

Doctors use these tests to diagnose testicular cancer:

  • Tissue sampling: The health care provider removes cells or tissues so they can be viewed under a microscope to check for signs of cancer.
  • Ultrasound: This procedure uses high-energy sound waves to create a picture of testicular tissue.
  • Physical exam and history: A health care provider examines your body for signs of disease. Your personal health habits, past illnesses, and symptoms help guide the exam.
  • Laboratory tests: By testing blood, your health care team can check for an increase in certain substances that cells produce when testicular cancer is present.

Stages of Testicular Cancer

Cancer stages show whether cancer has spread within or around the testicles or to other parts of the body. Cancer spreads in the body in three ways: through tissue, the lymph system, or the blood.

These are the stages used for testicular cancer:

  • Stage 0: This stage may be called testicular intraepithelial neoplasia. Tests found abnormal cells in the tiny tubules where sperm cells develop in the testicles.
  • Stage I (IA, IB & IS)
  • Stage II (IIA, IIB & IIC)
  • Stage III

When cancer spreads from where it started to another part of the body, it is called metastasis. These metastatic cancer cells are the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if testicular cancer spreads to the bone, the cancer cells in the bone are actually testicular cancer cells. The disease is metastatic testicular cancer, not bone cancer.

Learn more about the stages of testicular cancer from the National Cancer Institute.