How do you check for testicular cancer?
There is no established screening method for testicular cancer – an uncommon malignancy that affects one or both testicles, or the male reproductive organs. A physician may check for signs of testicular cancer during routine examinations, but the process is typically limited to feeling the testicles for lumps or swelling.
While testicular cancer is rare, it is still important to perform self-exams on your own, especially if a member of your family has received testicular cancer diagnosis in the past. Here’s how to check for potential signs of testicular cancer at home:
- After you shower, move your penis to one side and examine one testicle at a time.
- Gently roll each testicle from side to side to feel for lumps.
- Keeping in mind that it’s normal for one testicle to be larger than another, take note of the normal shape and consistency of your testicles.
- Promptly report any unusual lumps, swelling or scrotum discomfort to your physician.
Testicular cancer diagnosis and treatment options
To rule out or confirm a testicular cancer diagnosis, a physician may use several methods, including imaging tests like ultrasounds, CT scans, X-rays or MRIs. These techniques can provide an internal view of the testicles to help the physician determine if a lump is a cancerous tumor or a benign enlargement, such as a varicocele. A blood test may also be used to help detect high levels of cancer-related proteins.
Testicular cancer is highly responsive to treatment, even in later stages, with survival rates as high as 99 percent. If you have received a testicular cancer diagnosis, your treatment options may include a combination of surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.
Moffitt Cancer Center’s urologic cancer clinic provides well-rounded diagnostics and treatment for testicular cancer from oncologists who focus exclusively on urologic malignancies. Our team also includes supportive care specialists who help patients manage the potential side effects of treatment and improve their quality of life. To speak with a Moffitt oncologist with or without a referral, contact 1-888-663-3488 or submit a new patient registration form online.