Overview

About testicular cancer

Though rare, testicular cancer is among the most common cancers affecting young men - ages 20-40 being the most common age group.

Many men with testicular cancer receive their diagnosis at a time when they are considering starting a family or if they feel a lump in their testicle. 

Your testicles are an important part of your reproductive system. The doctors at UW Health and the UW Carbone Cancer Center care about your life after testicular cancer. We offer men advanced testicular cancer treatment and fertility preservation options.

Symptoms and diagnosis

What you should know about testicular cancer

There are several types of testicular cancer. Some types of testicular cancer form in the cells that produce your sperm. Testicular cancer can also form in other tissues within your testicle.

The type of cancer you have might affect what symptoms you develop. Not all men with testicular cancer experience symptoms. Those who do might notice:

  • A lump or swelling in the testicle

  • Pain in the testicle

  • Breast growth or soreness

  • Early puberty

Signs that cancer has spread from the testicle to other parts of your body include:

  • Chest pain

  • Cough

  • Headaches or confusion

  • Low back or belly pain

  • Shortness of breath

  • Weight loss

  • Night sweats

Diagnosing testicular cancer

To diagnose testicular cancer, your doctor will ask about symptoms. They will also perform a physical exam, feeling for swelling or lumps. Other tests for testicular cancer include:

  • Blood tests 

  • Imaging tests

Treatments and research

Aggressive treatment for testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is treatable, especially when detected early. The doctors at UW Health take an aggressive approach to treatment.

We offer a range of options, including fertility preservation and clinical trials. Standard testicular cancer treatments include: 

  • Chemotherapy

  • Surgical removal of the testicle (partial or total)

  • Surgical removal of lymph nodes (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection)

  • Robotic surgery: We offer robotic removal of lymph nodes for patients that are good candidates for this approach.  This approach is beneficial as it avoids larger incisions and lead to faster recovery, shorter hospital stay, less pain and more.

Sperm banking 

If you have testicular cancer, you may be worried about how it will affect your ability to have children. UW Health's Generations Fertility Care offers fertility preservation, giving people with cancer the chance to conceive a child after treatment. 

The team offers sperm banking, also called sperm cryopreservation. During this procedure, sperm is removed from the testicle and frozen for later use. 

Treatment through clinical research 

If you have testicular cancer, a clinical trial might be an option. Clinical trials give you access to new treatments or medical devices. Learn more

Three sets of hands holding a yellow ribbon symbolizing cancer
UW Carbone Cancer Center
Patient and family visitor guide

To help you feel comfortable during your stay at the UW Carbone Cancer Center, we invite you to learn about our facility and the services we offer.

Meet our team

Many experts caring for you

Testicular cancer is a type of genitourinary cancer. If you have testicular cancer, you will meet with experts within the UW Genitourinary Cancer Program. Your care team will include urologists, medical oncologist and radiation oncologists.

Medical oncology
Urology
Radiation oncology

Locations

Quality cancer care in your community

Treatment for testicular cancer is offered at our Urology Cancer Clinic located in the University Hospital in Madison, Wisconsin.

    Patient and support services

    Support groups and online resources

    A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming. There are many resources and support groups to help you through diagnosis, treatment and beyond.

    Cancer support groups

    Meets the third Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. UW Health Urology, 1 S. Park St., Madison. For more information, call (608) 287-2900.

    Meets the third Thursday of each month at 4:30 p.m. Gilda’s Club, 7907 UW Health Ct., Middleton. For more information email program@gildassclubmadison.org.

    Meets the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. Gilda’s Club, 7907 UW Health Ct, Middleton. For more information email program@gildassclubmadison.org.

    Online resources

    UW Carbone Cancer Center

    The experts at the UW Carbone Cancer Center intimately understand every type of cancer. We will get to know you and design a treatment plan that works for you and your family.

    Learn more