Cancer Types

Testicular Cancer

Information about testicular cancer.

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is when abnormal cells in the testicle grow in an uncontrolled way. If it is not found and treated early, testicular cancer can spread to other parts of the body, but even if it spreads testicular cancer is very treatable.

Usually, cancer will only grow in one testicle, rarely it can occur in both testicles.

Who can be affected by testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer affects people with testicles: men, trans-women, non-binary people assigned male at birth and some intersex people.

Testicular cancer is most common in young people aged 18-39 but can occur at other ages.

Risk factors

Anything that can increase your risk is called a risk factor. Having one or more of these risk factors does not mean that you will develop testicular cancer. Even if you have no risk factors you may develop testicular cancer.

The risk factors for testicular cancer include:

  • Having an undescended testicle as an infant
  • Family history of testicular cancer (having a father or brother with testicular cancer)
  • Abnormal testicular development

Signs and Symptoms

Testicular cancer may not cause any symptoms early on. The most common symptoms are:

  • Painless lump or swelling in the testicle
  • A change in shape or size of a testicle

Other symptoms include:

  • A heaviness or feeling of weight in the scrotum (pouch of skin around the testicles)
  • Pain or a dull ache in the testicle, scrotum, groin or abdomen
  • All men have some breast tissue and this can become tender due to hormones released by the cancer cells.

These symptoms may be caused by conditions other than cancer. However, it is important if any of these symptoms last for two weeks or longer - particularly if they are new, unusual or getting worse - to get them checked by your doctor as soon as possible.

If found early, testicular cancer is one of the most curable cancers. It is important to self-check your testicles for lumps or swelling regularly.


To check for testicular cancer your doctor will examine your testicles for swelling and lumps.

If your doctor suspects testicular cancer they will refer you for further tests. The most common test to look for testicular cancer is an ultrasound scan, which is used to look for a mass in the testicle. You doctor can also do a blood test to look for specific tumour markers in the blood.

If these tests are positive, then your doctors may do additional tests (such as CT scan, MRI scan or x-ray) to see if the cancer has spread.


If you have testicular cancer, you will be treated by a specialist called a urologist. A team of health professionals with expertise and experience with testicular cancer will look after your care.

The treatment for testicular cancer depends on the type and stage (how far it has spread), the severity of your symptoms and your preferences.

Nearly all treatment for testicular cancer begins with surgery to remove the testicle. If the cancer is found early this may be all the treatment that is required. However, treatment often includes chemotherapy or sometimes radiation therapy.

Helpful website

Testicular Cancer New Zealand