What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is more common among young and middle-aged men and has a good general treatment success rate. It is usually found when a man notices a lump forming in his testicle. There are reasons for testicular swelling and lumps that are not cancerous, but should be seen by a doctor.

More information about testicular cancer (American Cancer Society)

What testicular cancer is not

Testicular cancer should not be confused with other genitourinary cancers such as bladder, prostate, kidney, adrenal, penile, or urethral because these cancers can have different symptoms, outlooks, and treatments.

Common types of testicular cancer

The majority of testicular cancers begin in germ cells, which make sperm. Common types of germ cell tumors include seminomas and non-seminomas, which differ in the rates at which they grow and spread.


It’s possible that you could have one or more of the following tests (but not all of these may apply to your condition):

  • Ultrasound - Ultrasounds use sound waves to take images of the testicles. This is a non-invasive method of evaluation and diagnosis. It is often used as a follow-up test after an abnormal finding on other imaging or clinical exam. In instances where a needle biopsy has been recommended, ultrasounds can be used to help guide the procedure.
  • Blood tests - A blood test measures tumor markers or hormone levels in the blood. Changes in numbers may lead to further testing.
  • CT scan (computed tomography scan) - A CT scan is a series of X-ray pictures of your prostate put together by a computer to give doctors a detailed picture.
  • Surgery - In certain cases, surgery is required to definitively diagnose a type of cancer. 


Depending on your unique set of conditions, your treatment could include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation or a combination of these treatments. Your full team of care providers will work closely together to review your diagnostic tests, identify the best course of treatment particular to you, and help you understand your diagnosis and what to expect with any treatment you have.