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Testicular Cancer

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What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that forms in the testicles. The testicles (also called testes) are part of the male reproductive system. They make sperm and male sex hormones. Sperm is necessary for reproduction, and hormones like testosterone support muscle, bone and body hair growth.

Testicular cancer doesn’t happen as much as many other types of cancer, but it’s still important to know its signs and symptoms. Early diagnosis and treatment increases the chances of a full recovery and reduces the need for more aggressive cancer treatments.

Who gets testicular cancer?

While many forms of cancer are more common in older men, testicular cancer tends to affect those who are younger. It is most commonly diagnosed in men between ages 20 and 34  . It can, however, strike men of any age.

Testicular cancer usually begins as an abnormal growth or tumor in one or both testicles. So, it’s important for men to check their testicles regularly for any abnormal growths, lumps or swelling and to seek medical attention if they notice anything unusual.

When testicular cancer is found early, it’s successfully treated and cured 99% of the time.

What kind of doctor treats testicular cancer?

At Banner MD Anderson Cancer Center, we take a team approach to treating testicular cancer. Our team of experts includes urologists and medical, surgical and radiation oncologists. These experts work together to create a treatment plan based on each person’s unique needs.

Learn more about testicular cancer

What causes testicular cancer?

Experts don’t know exactly what causes testicular cancer. But age, race, family history and other factors can influence risk. The most commonly seen risk factors are a history of an undescended testicle, family history of testicular cancer in a first-degree relative (sibling or parent) or a prior diagnosis of testicular cancer. 

Learn more about testicular cancer risk factors.

What are the signs and symptoms of testicular cancer?

Many people with testicular cancer notice a lump, swelling or change in texture in one of their testicles. This swelling is often painless, but in rare cases testis or scrotal pain can occur.  Symptoms may occur outside of the scrotum in cases where the cancer has spread (metastasized). Regular self-exams can help find testicular cancer in earlier stages when it’s easier to treat. 

Learn more about testicular cancer signs and symptoms.

How is testicular cancer diagnosed?

Health care providers often diagnose testicular cancer based on medical history, physical examination, ultrasound and blood test results. However, a definitive diagnosis is typically made after surgery to remove the testis. 

Learn more about testicular cancer testing, diagnosis and stages.

How is testicular cancer treated?

Testicular cancer can be treated with surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, surveillance and other methods.

Learn more about testicular cancer treatment options.