Testicular Cancer Tests

How is testicular cancer detected?

Most times, a lump in the testicle is the first symptom of testicular cancer.  lump may be detected during a physical exam or self-exam. Swelling is another common symptom. Most instances of testicular cancer can be found during the early stages, leading to effective treatment of the disease.

How we diagnose testicular cancer

An accurate diagnosis is crucial for implementing the best treatment plan. At City of Hope, doctors have a variety of methods to diagnose testicular cancer.
Some of these tests include:
  • Ultrasounds - Performing an ultrasound on the testicles is often a first step in diagnosing testicular cancer. This test uses sound waves to create images of the testicles and detect any tumors.
  • Blood tests - Blood tests to identify tumor markers may be used to diagnose testicular cancer. Tumor markers are proteins or other substances in the blood that may be altered when cancer is present. For testicular cancer, the main markers are alpha-fetoprotein and human chorionic gonadotropin.
  • Biopsies - Doctors may perform a biopsy to remove a small sample of tissue from a tumor to test it for cancer. Many times, however, a surgeon will remove the entire tumor during a radical inguinal orchiectomy.