Testicular Cancer

Hoag has the science, technologies and minimally invasive techniques you need to beat testicular cancer. Improving outcomes. Speeding recovery. Alleviating pain. Preserving sexual and urologic function. That's personalized testicular cancer care right here in Orange County at Hoag.

You are not alone.

Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers with a very high survival rate. Increasing those odds, Hoag Family Cancer Institute has the science, technologies, non-surgical treatments and minimally-invasive techniques needed to beat testicular cancer. Our personalized testicular cancer care approach leads to improved outcomes, speedy recoveries, alleviating pain and preserving sexual and urologic function.


Diagnosing Testicular Cancer

How is Testicular Cancer Diagnosed 

If you are experiencing any symptoms that might suggest testicular cancer or find a lump during a self exam, your doctor will talk to you about your symptoms and family history. This will likely be followed by a thorough physical exam and bloodwork. Depending on the outcome of those tests, your doctor may refer you to a urologic specialist for other tests that may include: 

  • Ultrasound
  • Imaging tests
  • Blood tests for serum tumor markers
Next Steps for Those Diagnosed with Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable cancers, and the testicular cancer survival rate is very high. Among all patients in the U.S., the testicular cancer survival rate five years after diagnosis is 95 percent. That means 95 percent of those diagnosed with testicular cancer are still alive 5 years after diagnosis. 

You can trust Hoag for your testicular cancer care. The Hoag Family Cancer Institute offers world-class programs for urologic cancer of all types, with multidisciplinary teams, state-of-the-art facilities and technology and the latest in cancer therapies. 

Learn more about Hoag’s Urologic Cancer Program and our multidisciplinary Urologic Cancer Team.

Staging Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancers are staged on a scale from zero to three: 

  • Stage 0: Cancerous cells are present, but are still contained within the testicles. also called Germ Cell Neoplasia In Situ (GCNIS).   
  • Stage I: Cancerous cells are still contained within the testicle, but have invaded nearby lymph tissue or blood. 
  • Stage II: Cancer has spread to lymph nodes in the rear of the abdomen, but other areas remain clear. In this stage, patients may have moderate or highly elevated levels of serum tumor markers.
  • Stage III: Cancerous cells have spread beyond the testes to lymph nodes outside the abdomen, or to another organ.

Treatment Options for Testicular Cancer

Treatment options for testicular cancer depend on many factors, including how advanced the cancer is when detected and any other health issues you may have. Hoag offers treatments for testicular cancer that vary from patient to patient, but may include:  

Advanced Surgical Treatments at Hoag

The Hoag Family Cancer Institute’s testicular cancer team includes experienced, fellowship-trained urologic surgical oncologists who utilize the latest techniques and technology in the surgical management of testicular cancer. Advanced surgical treatments at Hoag include:

  • Minimally invasive laparoscopic robotic surgery using a DaVinci Robotics platform. Learn more about the benefits of Hoag’s DaVinci robotics program.

Surgical Procedures to Treat Testicular Cancer at Hoag Include:

  • Radical Orchiectomy, which is the removal of the testicle. 
  • Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection (RLND)
Non-Surgical Treatments

As a full-service cancer center, Hoag offers both inpatient and outpatient settings in order to provide the full spectrum of therapeutic care and support a cancer patient needs. You won’t need to travel far as all our outpatient services are also near your home in Orange County. Our non-surgical treatment options for testicular cancer include:

Research & Clinical Trials for Testicular Cancer

Hoag is committed to leading the way in state-of-the-art technologies and advanced treatment options. Part of this commitment includes clinical research with the goal of helping patients live longer, healthier lives. Through carefully planned clinical trials, researchers evaluate the safety and effectiveness of new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases or conditions. Treatments studied in clinical trials might be new drugs or new combinations of drugs, new surgical procedures or devices, or new ways to use existing treatments. View clinical trials for testicular cancer here.

Do I have testicular cancer?

What is testicular cancer? 

Testicular cancer is cancer that occurs in the tissues of the testicles. In addition to making sperm, the testicles also make important male hormones, including testosterone. Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in males between the age of 15 and 35, but can affect men at any age. 

There are two main types of testicular cancer, and individual cases may include both types: 

  • Seminoma: A more slow-growing form of testicular cancer that mostly affects men in their 40s and 50s.
  • Non-seminoma: A more rapidly-growing cancer of the testes, which mainly affects patients ranging in age from their late teens to early thirties. There are four subtypes of non-seminoma testicular cancers, including embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac carcinoma, teratoma and choriocarcinoma.

What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?

The symptoms of testicular cancer can be different for every patient, but common symptoms can include: 

  • Swelling or a lump in either testicle
  • Testicular atrophy, in which one testicle shrinks in size
  • Pain in your groin, lower abdomen, scrotum, one testicle or both

What are the risk factors for testicular cancer?

There are a number of factors that are believed to increase your risk of developing testicular cancers. These include: 

  • Age, as most cases occur in patients between 15 and 35
  • Race, as testicular cancer is more common in Caucasian patients than it is in other ethnicities. 
  • Family history
    • Hoag Family Cancer Institute offers a Hereditary Cancer Program to assess a person’s family history and any associated risk for cancer. 
  • Having previously had testicular cancer

How can I reduce my risk of developing testicular cancer? 

Though research is ongoing, there are currently no known ways to completely reduce a patient’s risk for developing testicular cancer other than removal of the testicles. 

You can, however, greatly reduce your risk for a more advanced testicular cancer by catching it early through regular Testicular Self Exams (TSE). During these exams, usually performed about once per month while in the shower, carefully roll your testicles between your thumb and fingers, checking for lumps or hard nodules.

Note that at the top and back of each testicle, there’s a tube called the epididymis that stores and transports sperm. During the exam, you may feel the epididymis through the scrotum, but it is normal. It is also normal for testicles to vary slightly in size.

If you find an unexplained testicular lump, cyst or any changes, even if it’s painless, see your doctor.

Testicular cysts vs. cancer

If you find a lump, don’t automatically assume it’s cancerous. Most testicle lumps are not cancerous, and there are several types of benign lumps which can form in the scrotum, including lipomas (fatty masses) and cysts. Men with an infection of the testicle or epididymitis may also have pain and swelling. If you find a lump, stay calm and visit your doctor for an accurate diagnosis.