Testing for Testicular Cancer
- Scrotal ultrasound is
used to confirm solid mass.
- Blood tests for tumor
markers: alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG),
and lactic dehydrogenase (LDH). Approximately 85% of non-seminomas will
have elevations of either AFP or beta HCG. These tests can also be used
to monitor the response to treatment.
- A chest X-ray is done to
look for potential metastasis (spreading of cancer) to the lungs.
- An abdominal CT scan may
be done to look for potential metastasis.
- Physical exam by a
Stages of Testicular Cancer
cancer of the testicle has been found, more tests will be done to find
out if the cancer has spread from the testicle to other parts of the
body (staging). A doctor needs to know the stage of the disease to plan
treatment. The following stages are used for cancer of the testicle:
is found only in the testicle.
has spread to the lymph nodes in the abdomen (lymph nodes are small,
bean-shaped structures that are found throughout the body; they produce
and store infection-fighting cells).
has spread beyond the lymph nodes in the abdomen. There may be cancer
in parts of the body far away from the testicles, such as the lungs and
disease means that the cancer has come back (recurred) after it has
been treated. It may come back in the same place or in another part of
the body. A patient should regularly examine the opposite testicle for
possible recurrence for many years after treatment. Patients will
probably have check-ups once per month during the first year after
surgery, every other month during the next year, and less frequently