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UT Southwestern Medical Center provides advanced, comprehensive care to men with testicular cancer. We work in multidisciplinary teams to strategically and compassionately provide the latest treatment options while helping men maintain their quality of life.

As the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in North Texas, we deliver the best cancer care available today and push to discover new treatments. NCI designation means we offer patients the ability to participate in the broadest possible range of clinical trials, with access to potential therapies not available at other facilities.

Singular Focus, Expert Care

Testicular cancer can occur in one or both testicles, the pair of male reproductive organs that produces sperm and male hormones. Nearly 9,000 new cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. While about half of the cases affect men who are 20 to 34 years old, the disease can strike males of all ages.

At UT Southwestern, we work with each patient to navigate the different treatment options to determine what will be most effective for each situation. Our patients are our priority. We see hundreds of patients with urologic cancer every year, and this high volume translates into excellent care for every patient.

Our multidisciplinary team includes urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, and other highly trained cancer faculty and staff completely focused on urologic cancers such as testicular cancer.

Types of Testicular Cancer

Germ-cell tumors make up more than 90 percent of testicular cancer cases. The two types of germ-cell tumors – seminomas and nonseminomas – occur with about equal prevalence. Stromal tumors – Leydig cell tumors and Sertoli cell tumors – comprise about 5 percent of testicular cancers.

While rare, secondary testicular cancer – cancer that has spread to a testicle from another organ – most commonly develops due to cancer of the lymphatic system (lymphoma).

Risk Factors

Risk factors for testicular cancer include:

  • Undescended testicle(s) (orchiopexy)
  • Family history of testicular cancer
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Cancer in the other testicle
  • Carcinoma in situ, abnormal cells that can be precancerous

Symptoms and Diagnosis

Not all cases of testicular cancer cause symptoms. Among men who do experience symptoms, the most common are:

  • A lump, swelling, or tenderness in a testicle
  • A change in the consistency or shape of a testicle

Men experiencing symptoms that could indicate testicular cancer should see their doctors.

Whether through self-examination or during a physical exam, when an abnormality is discovered that suggests testicular cancer, physicians might order blood work, a tissue sample, or imaging studies – mostly commonly ultrasound – to make a diagnosis.

Treatment for Testicular Cancer

Treatment for testicular cancer depends on its characteristics and stage, as well as the patient's overall health, preferences, and goals. Treatment options include:

  • Surgery: The first line of treatment for virtually all cases of testicular cancer is minimally invasive surgery, in which physicians remove the affected testicle and, sometimes, nearby lymph glands, as well. 
  • Radiation therapy: This treatment uses radiation to kill the cancer cells. After surgery, radiation therapy is the standard of care for early-stage testicular cancer. For more advanced or recurrent cancers or those that don’t respond to chemotherapy, radiation can be used as a second line of defense. In addition, radiation therapy can be used for metastatic testicular cancer to relieve pain and other symptoms. 

    Several advanced delivery options are available for radiation to the testes, such as intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT) delivered with image guidance (IGRT), using multiple beams that shape the radiation dose to match the targeted tumor.
  • Chemotherapy: Our medical oncologists use drugs to kill the cancer cells. 

Clinical Trials

UT Southwestern offers clinical trials that can provide patients with an opportunity to complement traditional therapy for testicular cancer with the newest, most promising treatment strategies. Patients should speak with their doctors about clinical trial opportunities.

Support Services

Patients with testicular cancer also are encouraged to take advantage of UT Southwestern’s many patient support services. Our whole-patient approach to care means that clinicians also strive to help patients with issues such as pain management, nutrition, psychosocial adjustments, and cancer’s impact on their families.

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