Diagnosis of Testicular Cancer

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(or ‘Finding out for sure’)

Your GP

The first port of call will normally be your GP; they’ll normally examine you and take your details. Your GP is unlikely to be a specialist on the subject and will almost certainly refer you to the hospital for further testing, advice and ultimately any necessary treatment.

Specialist

The specialist at the hospital may or may not be able to tell you immediately whether it is cancer, they may refer you for an ultrasound or any other number of tests (and you will probably feel like you are being pushed from pillar to post in the hospital!). At the end of the day the only way to confirm testicular cancer for sure is for the surgeon to examine the testicle during an operation.

Surgery

Sometime the surgeon can see whether a lump is cancer or not, often a small piece of tissue will need to be removed (a biopsy) and immediately examined by a pathologist. If the lump is cancer then the testicle will be remove (an orchiectomy).

In my case they’d already made the decision to perform an orchiectomy before discovering it was cancer - this is normal - if a little scary - you can read more about it here.

More testing will done on any tissue that is removed to find out what type of testicular cancer it is, and you will normally go home the next day. If the cancer hasn’t spread this will probably be the only treatment you need, other than outpatient check-ups for the next couple of years.

NOTE:
The removal of one of your testicles does not affect your ability to have an erection or to father children and an implant (or prosthesis) can be inserted into your scrotum to give you a normal appearance if you wish. Ask your specialist!