Testicular Cancer: Diagnosis and Treatment

Am Fam Physician. 2018 Feb 15;97(4):261-268.


Testicular cancer is the most common solid tumor among males 15 to 34 years of age, with an estimated 8,850 new cases and 410 deaths during 2017 in the United States. With effective treatment, the overall five-year survival rate is 97%. Risk factors for testicular cancer include undescended testis (cryptorchidism), personal or family history of testicular cancer, age, ethnicity, and infertility. The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine screening in asymptomatic men. Men with symptoms should receive a complete history and physical examination. Scrotal ultrasonography is the preferred initial imaging study. If a solid intratesticular mass is discovered, orchiectomy is both diagnostic and therapeutic. Staging through chest radiography, chemistry panel, liver function tests, and tumor markers guides treatment. Active surveillance, chemotherapy, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection, and radiation therapy are treatment options following orchiectomy. For patients desiring future fertility, sperm banking should be discussed early in the course of treatment. Family physicians often play a role in the care of cancer survivors and should be familiar with monitoring for recurrence and future complications, including secondary malignant neoplasms, cardiovascular risk, and infertility and subfertility.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols*
  • Curriculum
  • Education, Medical, Continuing
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / therapy
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms, Second Primary / therapy
  • Practice Guidelines as Topic*
  • Preventive Medicine / standards*
  • Risk Factors
  • Testicular Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / therapy*
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult