How is Testicular Cancer Diagnosed?

  • Health record and physical exam: Your urologist will look for lumps, firmness or signs of swelling, and ask about a history of undescended testicles.
  • Ultrasound: Your urologist may call for an ultrasound (a noninvasive radiological test) to check any suspicious lump.
  • Blood test: A blood sample can be checked for tumor markers (proteins made by most testicular malignancies) that show up if cancer is present.

Unlike many other cancers, testicular cancer is not diagnosed by taking a biopsy (tissue sample). Doing a biopsy could cause the cancer to spread.

If your urologist finds cancer, he or she wll want to determine how serious it is, how far it has spread or its stage.