Testicular Cancer

Every day, experts at Northside Hospital Cancer Institute’s Prostate and Urologic Cancer Program treat cancers of the prostate, kidneys, bladder, penis and testicles.

We use the latest in cancer science and progressive medicine with you in mind – to move your health forward to wellness. Our team is committed to matching your needs and goals to the most advanced diagnosis and treatment resources available.

Your Experienced Team of Testicular Cancer Specialists

Our community-based approach to cancer care makes all the difference. It means that you can choose an attentive, responsive team of cancer experts right in the communities where you live, work and enjoy life.  

At Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, you have access to an entire team of highly qualified, top-rated physicians, nurses and other health experts. Your care team might include urologists, surgical oncologists, medical and radiation oncologists, along with pathologists and radiologists. Other team members include: 

  • Nurse navigators who can help you through your cancer care.
  • Dietitians for expert health and nutrition guidance. 
  • Rehabilitation specialists to help you maintain strength and energy for daily activities.
  • Research nurses (when applicable) to help you better understand your cancer.
  • Social workers you can lean on for social, emotional and spiritual support.

Together, we’re dedicated to helping you through testicular cancer on your terms – with the strength of Northside’s comprehensive care and support.

Understanding Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is cancer that starts in the testicles—also called testes. The testicles are the male reproductive glands found inside the scrotum.

Although testicular cancer is rare overall, it is one of the most common cancers found in American men between the ages of 15 - 35. 

Most of the time, testicular cancer starts in cells that make sperm, called germ cells. While there are several different types of testicular cancer, the vast majority of them fall into two main types:

  • Seminoma: These tumors generally grow slower than non-seminomas, and they usually affect men between the ages of 25 and 45 or men over the age of 60. 
  • Non-seminoma: These tumors are more common and more aggressive, and are usually found in men in their late teens to early 30s.

Testicular Cancer Symptoms 

Many men do not have any symptoms of testicular cancer. When they do, symptoms might include:

  • A lump or swelling in one testicle. 
  • Pain or discomfort in one testicle.
  • An ache or “heavy” feeling in the abdomen or scrotum.
  • Pain in the lower back or abdomen.
  • Breast growth (called gynecomastia).

Testicular Cancer Risk Factors 

Many men ask, “Is testicular cancer hereditary?” Although scientists don’t know what causes most testicular cancers, a family history of the disease is one known risk factor. Age, race and other conditions can increase your risk of testicular cancer, including:

  • Being between the ages of 15 - 35 (although it can happen at any age).
  • Being a white male.
  • Having an undescended testicle.
  • Having a prior history of testicular cancer.

Diagnosing Testicular Cancer

A testicular cancer diagnosis usually starts with a physical exam that reveals a lump in one testicle. Men may notice the lump themselves, or it may be discovered during a routine physical exam. Doctors may then perform additional testicular cancer tests. Typical tests may include:

Testicular Cancer Treatment Options 

Fortunately, testicular cancer is one of the most treatable and curable kinds of cancer. If you’re concerned about your ability to have children later, you may want to talk to your Northside doctor about a referral to a fertility specialist. 

The most common treatment option for testicular cancer is surgery. Sometimes, it’s the only treatment needed. Other times, radiation therapy or chemotherapy may be used — either alone or combined with surgery.  

Northside Hospital Cancer Institute is also on the leading edge of cancer research. If you choose to participate in a clinical trial, you’ll get both expert care and the satisfaction of knowing you’re helping doctors find better ways to fight cancer. Plus, the Research Program at Northside is one of the largest community-based oncology/hematology programs in the United States. 

At Northside Hospital Cancer Institute, our experts know how to design just the right cancer treatment plan for you. 

Your Resources for Testicular Cancer Support & Survivorship

A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming, especially when it might impact your sexual health or fertility. But at Northside, we understand these concerns and offer comprehensive information  and resources to help manage your goals and expectations. Our specially trained cancer nurse navigators can help guide you along the steps of your cancer care pathway.

Our entire team works hard to coordinate your care, educate you about your treatment plan and help you get the right support from Northside Hospital Cancer Institute’s vast array of support  and survivorship resources. 

LEARN MORE ABOUT ALL OF OUR NHCI SUPPORT & SURVIVORSHIP SERVICES