What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?

The most common symptoms of testicular cancer are swelling, pain, or a lump or hardness in the testicle. In some cases, men may not have any symptoms of testicular cancer. Other, less common symptoms can include:

  • Pain in the groin or lower abdomen
  • Back pain
  • A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
  • Swelling or soreness in the breast area

How is testicular cancer diagnosed?

In most cases, a patient visits his healthcare provider after finding a lump or swelling in his testicle.

If your doctor suspects you have testicular cancer, he or she may conduct a physical exam and ask about your medical history. Your doctor may also order blood tests to measure certain protein levels, which can signal whether there are tumors and how advanced the disease may be.

Your physician may also order imaging tests to help locate the tumor and to see whether the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. These imaging tests may include CT scans or ultrasounds.

If your care team determines that you have testicular cancer, you will undergo surgery to remove the affected testicle. This will help our oncologists examine the tumor to pinpoint the type of tumor you have, which will help them determine the most effective treatment for your cancer.

In some cases, your care team may also decide to remove your retroperitoneal lymph nodes to see whether the cancer has spread beyond the testicle. These lymph nodes are located in the retroperitoneum, which is the space behind the lining of your abdomen (peritoneum). Surgery to remove these lymph nodes is called retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, or RPLND.
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