Several tests may be used to diagnose testicular cancer. However, these tests are typically performed only when a physician already suspects that a patient has testicular cancer. Before ordering a testicular cancer test, a physician will likely conduct a physical exam, during which he or she will check the patient’s testicles for any lumps or swelling. Additionally, the physician will check the lymph nodes in the pelvic area for signs of cancer. If the physician believes testicular cancer may be present, a testicular cancer test will be ordered to confirm or rule out a cancer diagnosis.
Can a blood test detect testicular cancer?
A blood test is sometimes used to aid in the diagnostic process by identifying tumor markers (high levels of cancer-related proteins) in the blood. However, blood tests are not conclusive in diagnosing this malignancy. This is because some types of testicular cancer do not increase blood protein levels, while others do not produce proteins at all.
Other diagnostic tests for testicular cancer
An ultrasound may also be used to test for testicular cancer. This diagnostic test uses sound waves to create a detailed image of a patient’s internal organs. Ultrasounds can help physicians differentiate between benign conditions like varicocele or hydrocele and testicular cancer.
An MRI, CT scan or X-ray may also be used to confirm or rule out a testicular cancer diagnosis. If a tumor is found, an imaging test can also help a physician determine if and how far the cancer has spread.
If you suspect you might have testicular cancer, we invite you to come to Moffitt Cancer Center. We can provide the testicular cancer tests you need in a single location and give you the prompt and accurate results you deserve. If a testicular cancer diagnosis is confirmed, you will have access to the most effective treatments for your unique situation, helping you to achieve the best possible outcome and an improved quality of life.