Testicular cancer is a disease in which cancer (malignant) cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles. The testicles are the male sex glands and produce testosterone and sperm. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men 20–35 years old.
- Having had an undescended testicle.
- Having had abnormal development of the testicles.
- Having had testicular cancer in the past.
- Having a family history of testicular cancer, especially a father or brother.
- Having Klinefelter syndrome.
- Being white.
- Swelling in your scrotum.
- A change in how your testicle feels.
- A painless bump or swelling in the testicle.
- Dull ache in the lower abdomen.
- Pain or discomfort in the testicles or scrotum.
- Sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum.
Your health care provider will ask about your health history and perform a physical exam to check your testicles for lumps, swelling, or pain. Other tests may include:
- Ultrasonography of the testicles.
- A blood test called the serum tumor marker test. This test looks for certain substances in the blood linked to specific types of cancer.
- A biopsy to remove the entire testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy and biopsy) to test a tissue sample from the testicle for cancer cells.
Based on the stage of the cancer, one treatment or a combination of treatments may be recommended. Certain treatments for testicular cancer can cause infertility that may be permanent. Talk to your health care provider about the risks of treatment and your options if you want to have children. The most common forms of treatment are:
- Radiation therapy.
- High-dose chemotherapy followed by stem cell transplant.
Follow these instructions at home:
- Only take over-the-counter or prescription medicines as directed by your health care provider.
- Maintain a healthy diet.
- Consider joining a support group. This may help you learn to cope with the stress of having testicular cancer.
- Seek advice to help you manage treatment side effects.
- Keep all follow-up appointments as directed by your health care provider.
Contact a health care provider if:
- You have a dull ache in your lower abdomen or groin.
- You have a sudden buildup of fluid in your scrotum.
- You have an increase in pain, discomfort, or swelling in your testicle or scrotum.
This information is not intended to replace advice given to you by your health care provider.