Testicular Cancer

With the treatments available at INTEGRIS Health, testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer.

One of the most curable forms of cancer.

Good News and Better News

Any cancer diagnosis can be frightening. But there is good news. With the treatments available at INTEGRIS Health, testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer. Better still, you’ll have the full force of the INTEGRIS Cancer Institute behind you, with the region’s foremost collection of therapies, physicians and specialists.

The Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic

There was a time when treating testicular cancer meant you had to make dozens of appointments at different facilities with multiple specialists, but with our Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic, the process is streamlined. We gather our physicians and specialists in one room to decide the best course of treatment for you. That means the time you have to spend between diagnosis and treatment is dramatically reduced.

Though testicular cancer is highly treatable and curable, we know this can be a challenging time. But we’re with you. Please ask your physician about any concerns or questions you might have.

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Understanding Testicular Cancer

If you have testicular cancer, you may notice certain warning signs, or symptoms. You can also have testicular cancer without noticing any symptoms. These are some of the possible symptoms of testicular cancer:

  • A lump on your testicle. The lump is often painless, but it can be uncomfortable.
  • Enlargement of a testicle.
  • A feeling of heaviness or aching in the scrotum or lower belly (abdomen).
  • Swelling in your breasts.
  • Pain in your lower back. This can be a sign of testicular cancer that has spread to your lymph nodes.
  • Shortness of breath, pain in the chest, or a cough. These can be signs that testicular cancer may have spread to your lungs.
  • In rare cases, you may have no symptoms other than infertility.

If your doctor thinks you might have testicular cancer, exams and tests will be required to reach an accurate diagnosis. This begins with your physician asking questions about your health history, symptoms, risk factors and family history of disease, and may continue with more in-depth tests:

  • Physical Exam: Your doctor will feel your testicles for any swelling, tender areas, or lumps. If a lump is present, your doctor will note its size and location. The doctor may also look carefully at your belly (abdomen), groin, and other parts of your body. This is to find possible signs that any tumors may have spread.
  • Ultrasound of the Testicles: An ultrasound will often be the first test done if you have a lump on or near your testicle. This test uses sound waves to see if the lump is filled with fluid or is a solid mass. Solid lumps are more likely to be cancer.
  • Blood Tests: Blood levels of certain proteins called tumor markers often change if you have testicular cancer. Your doctors may be able to tell what kind of testicular cancer you have based on these marker levels. If you have testicular cancer, your doctor may repeat these blood tests during and after treatment to see how well it is working.
  • Surgery: If a lump is found and the doctor thinks it is cancer, a surgeon will most likely try to remove all of it instead of getting a biopsy of it. The surgeon may also remove your testicle and your spermatic cord. This is different from how many other types of cancer are diagnosed. The surgeon sends the removed testicle and spermatic cord to a pathologist for testing.

Several types of treatment can be used for testicular cancer. Which may work best for you? It depends on a number of factors. These include the type, size, location, and stage of your cancer. Other important factors include your age, overall health and what side effects you find acceptable. The goals of treatment are to remove the cancer in the testicle, remove or destroy tumors in other parts of the body stop the spread of testicular cancer cells, prevent or delay the cancer's return and ease symptoms from the cancer, such as pain or pressure on organs. Treatments include:

  • Surgery: This is nearly always the first treatment for testicular cancer. The goal of this treatment is to remove the entire tumor along with the testicle. Sometimes lymph nodes in the lower abdomen are removed as well. Depending on the stage of the cancer, surgery may be all that's needed.
  • Chemotherapy: The goal of chemotherapy is to kill any remaining cancer cells in the body to help keep the cancer from coming back. When used after surgery, this is called adjuvant chemotherapy.
  • Radiation therapy: The goal of radiation therapy is to kill cancer cells. When it's used after surgery, it is called adjuvant radiation therapy. Then the goal is to reduce the chance that the cancer will come back.

At INTEGRIS, we offer a wide variety of support programs and services along with the Troy and Dollie Smith Wellness Center to help patients with breast cancer and their loved ones manage the physical and emotional effects of a cancer diagnosis and treatment.

Support services for testicular cancer include:

  • Mind, body therapies including acupuncture, massage, and yoga
  • Research and clinical trials
  • Nutrition consultations
  • Pastoral care, spiritual support and relaxation techniques
  • Resource Room
  • Clinical social work services
  • Counseling
  • Patient navigation and survivor care planning
  • Multi-disciplinary clinic coordination
  • Cancer screenings
  • Patient and family support groups

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