Health A-Z

Testicular Cancer

Clinical Definition

Testicular cancer originates in the testicles, usually affecting a single testicle. Risk factors include having an undescended testicle, Klinefelter’s syndrome, being of Caucasian race and having a family history of testicular cancer. Scrotal edema, testicular lumps or swelling and groin aches are possible symptoms. Diagnosis is by ultrasound, serum tumor markers and physical exam; treatment may include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, with a good prognosis for most.

In Our Own Words

Testicular cancer, or cancer of the testes, usually affects a single testicle, not both. Men who have a family history, a history of an undescended testicle, having an extra X chromosome (Klinefelter’s syndrome), or who are Caucasian have higher risks than others.

The diagnosis is made by taking a history and doing a physical exam and other tests such as a blood test to measure substances called tumor markers, linked to certain cancers.

Treatments include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy, depending on how far along the cancer is when diagnosed. Prognosis after treatment is generally good.

Symptoms and Side Effects

  • Swelling in the scrotum
  • Testicular lump or swelling
  • Dull ache in the abdomen or groin
  • Pain or a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum or in a testicle
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