Skip to main content
Update Location

My Location

Update your location to show providers, locations, and services closest to you.

Enter a zip code
Or
Select a campus/region

What Every Man Should Know About Testicular Cancer

Older man sitting and thinking

Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer found in young men, with 33 being the average age of diagnosis. There are approximately 10,000 new cases of testicular cancer diagnosed in the U.S. annually, and roughly 500 deaths each year from the disease1. There are multiple kinds of testicular cancer that are distinguished by what type of cell in the testicle that the cancer arises from. Testicular cancer overall has an excellent prognosis, but early detection and treatment is key to a patient’s outcome.

How is testicular cancer detected?

Testicular cancer is usually not painful and is typically found when a man feels a lump, firm mass, or abnormal enlargement in one or both of his testicles. Testicular cancer may also be found when a patient undergoes imaging, such as ultrasound or CT scan, as part of the workup for an unrelated medical condition.

What are the risk factors and symptoms of testicular cancer?

There is no specific cause of testicular cancer, however, there are some known factors that increase a man’s risk for developing testicular cancer.

  • Men with a compromised or weakened immune system, such as those with HIV/AIDS or patients who take immune-modulating medications.
  • Men with a history of undescended testicle(s) at birth, even if it was surgically corrected.
  • Men who have developed testicular cancer in one testicle are at increased risk of developing cancer in the other testicle.
  • Men with immediate family members who have had testicular cancer are more likely to develop testicular cancer themselves.
  • More common in white men.
  • Most common in men ages 15 to 45.

Can I be screened for testicular cancer?

No blood or imaging test is routinely used to screen for testicular cancer. The best way to screen for the disease is for men to routinely perform physical examinations of their testicles to feel for the presence of a mass.

Primary care physicians may perform physical exams for signs of testicular cancer for those at an increased risk.

What are the workup and treatment options for testicular cancer?

Workup for testicular cancer will typically involve scrotal ultrasound to image the testicles and scrotum, blood tests to evaluate for the presence of tumor markers, and possibly radiographic imaging, such as X-rays or CT scans.

Once a diagnosis of a testis mass has been made, the first treatment is the surgical removal of the testicle that contains the mass. This surgery is performed by a urologist.

The testicle will be analyzed to determine if it contains a testicular cancer and what type of testicular cancer it is. Depending on the type of testicular cancer, additional treatments may be necessary:

  • Chemotherapy – medications that kill cancer cells are used for aggressive types of testicular cancer that have a high risk for spreading to tissues outside the testicle.
  • Lymph node dissection – aggressive types of testicular cancer may also warrant the removal of a patient’s lymph nodes from the abdomen. This is done to remove the cancer’s most likely site of spread.
  • Metastasectomy – this is the surgical removal of secondary tissues that are found to be involved with cancer due to the cancer spreading.

How can I reduce my risk of developing testicular cancer?

While there is no reliable way to reduce your risk of testicular cancer, the best way of ensuring you do not have an incurable cancer is to perform or undergo routine testicle examinations and seek medical care immediately if a testicle mass is found.

UF Health Urology – Jacksonville offers a comprehensive range of urological services in a patient-friendly environment. The practice aligns with the National Cancer Institute and the UF Health Proton Therapy Institute to provide access to state-of-the-art urological cancer protocols.

Visit UFHealthJax.org/urology or call 904.633.0411 for more information about services offered.

References

  1. https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/testicular-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

About the author

Thomas Metzner, DO, MS, Resident Physician, Department of Urology

For the media

Media contact

Dan Leveton
Media Relations Manager
daniel.leveton@jax.ufl.edu (904) 244-3268