If you experience the symptoms of testicular cancer , your doctor may refer you to a hospital for diagnostic testing. There are a number of strategies your doctor can use to determine if you have testicular cancer. Here is a look at what you can expect during the diagnostic process.
A physical exam is the first step in getting a diagnosis. Your doctor will examine your testicles as well as your lymph nodes and abdomen to determine if there is any sign that cancer is present in these areas of your body. During the exam, your doctor will be looking for lumps, swelling, and changes in the sizes of your testicles. Typically, lumps and swelling associated with testicular cancer are not painful, but the testicles themselves may become sensitive, with or without lumps, when cancer is present. Your doctor will determine if further tests are necessary based on the results of your physical exam.
Testicular cancer causes high levels of certain proteins to appear in your blood. Your doctor can use blood tests to determine if these proteins are present in your blood, which may suggest a testicular tumor. However, high levels of the proteins associated with testicular cancer can also be present for other reasons, and in early stages of cancer, the proteins may not be present at all. As such, blood test results are clues rather than being diagnostically definitive.
A number of imaging tests can be used to locate testicular cancers. Ultrasound is the most common test used for diagnosis, but CT scans, MRIs, and PET scans may all be ordered for diagnostics or to get more information about cancer and whether it has spread.
Good Samaritan Hospital offers diagnostic imaging and cancer care to help you through every stage of your testicular cancer treatment plan. If you need a referral to an oncologist or information about cardiac care, maternity care, weight loss surgery, or other services at our San Jose hospital, please call (888) 724-2362.