Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is relatively rare, being found in about one of every 250 men. It primarily affects younger men, with half the cases occurring in the 20-34 age group and only 8% in men over 55 years old; 6% in children and teenagers.

Testicular cancer is considered easily treatable.

Risk Factors

Incidents of testicular cancer have been rising for decades, although the rate of increase has slowed in recent years.

The highest rates are found in the United States and Europe. White people are four to five times more likely than men of African or Asian descent to get testicular cancer.

The primary apparent risk factors – race, undescended testicle, family history and body size – are uncontrollable.

Most men who get testicular cancer do not have a risk factor.


There are many different types and sub-types of testicular cancer, and most can be detected and treated early.

Symptoms include:

  • Breast growth or soreness
  • Chest pain, cough, shortness of breath
  • Early onset of puberty
  • Headaches
  • Lump or swelling in the testicles
  • Lower back pain
  • Stomach pain

Screening and Diagnosis

There are no screening tests specific to testicular cancer, but imaging tests can discover tumors when there are no symptoms.

Tests may include:

  • PET scan
  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray


Testicular cancer is considered easily treatable. The risk of death is about one in 5,000 cases.

Once diagnosed, you will meet with our OSF HealthCare multidisciplinary team, including specialists in medical oncology, radiation oncology, and surgery.

You will discuss options with them to determine the treatment best suited for you.

Our team will help you develop a survivorship plan and work with you through necessary follow-up and rehabilitation so that you can focus on recovery.

Treatment options include:

  • Chemotherapy
  • High-dose chemotherapy and stem-cell transplant
  • Laparoscopy
  • Retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND)
  • Radiation therapy
  • Surgery

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