Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) occurs frequently in individuals infected with the HIV virus. Malignancy, immunosuppressive drugs, and congenital immune deficiency may be associated with PCP. We describe a patient with stage 1 testicular carcinoma who developed hypoxemic respiratory failure two days after retroperitoneal lymph node dissection. Pneumocystis carinii organisms were demonstrated by catheter lavage samples and confirmed on bronchoalveolar lavage. Testing for HIV antibody by ELISA and the Western blot test were negative; HIV viral culture and polymerase chain reaction were also negative. Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia is unusual in localized surgically cured malignancies without obvious immunodeficiency and, to our knowledge, has not been described as a cause of postoperative respiratory failure.