Exams and Tests
Most abnormalities of the testes are found during a Reference self-exam or routine physical exam by a doctor. If testicular cancer is suspected, your doctor may want to do other tests. Tests include:
- Reference Testicular ultrasound. This test may be used to rule out other possible causes of an enlarged or painful testicle before the testicle is removed.
- Blood tests. These are often done to measure the levels of tumor markers in your blood. Tumor markers are substances that appear in your bloodstream when cancer is present. Tumor marker levels are monitored at all stages of treatment for testicular cancer.
- Imaging tests, such as Reference chest X-ray and Reference CT scan of the chest, abdomen, and pelvis.
If the ultrasound and blood tests suggest testicular cancer, a doctor will surgically remove your affected testicle. It will be checked for cancer. If cancer is found, you may have other tests, such as Reference X-rays Opens New Window, Reference CT scans Opens New Window, or Reference MRIs Opens New Window, to find out the stage of your cancer.
Ongoing exams and tests
During your treatment for testicular cancer, your doctor will schedule a thorough follow-up program to monitor your recovery, especially if you are doing Reference watchful waiting Opens New Window. These exams and tests may continue for several years. In addition to physical exams, your follow-up program may include:
- Periodic imaging tests such as chest X-rays or CT scans.
- Blood tests to check the levels of Reference tumor markers Opens New Window in your blood. Tumor marker levels that are stable or that increase after you've had treatment may be a sign of more cancer.
A genital exam is an important part of a routine physical exam for every adolescent boy and man.
Testicular self-examination may also Reference detect testicular cancer at an early stage. Many of these cancers are first found as a painless lump or an enlarged testicle during a self-exam.
Some doctors recommend that men ages 15 to 40 perform monthly testicular self-exams (TSE). But many doctors don't believe that monthly TSE is needed for men who are at average risk for testicular cancer. Monthly TSE may be recommended for men who are at high risk for this kind of cancer. This includes men with a history of an undescended testicle or a family or personal history of testicular cancer.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference October 22, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Reference Christopher G. Wood, MD, FACS - Urology, Oncology