We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
JAMA Patient Page |

Testicular Cancer FREE

Janet M. Torpy, MD, Writer; Cassio Lynm, MA, Illustrator; Richard M. Glass, MD, Editor
JAMA. 2008;299(6):718. doi:10.1001/jama.299.6.718.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Cancer of the testicle, the male reproductive organ responsible for making sperm, is common, especially among younger men. In developed nations, the chance of a man developing testicular cancer during his life is 1 in 300. The risk of dying from testicular cancer is very low because it can be treated and even cured when found early. Regular self-examination of the testicles is the best way for a man to detect testicular cancer as early as possible. Treatment and prognosis (chances of cure) depend on the type of cancer found in the testicle. The February 13, 2008, issue of JAMA includes an article about treating advanced testicular cancer.


  • White race

  • Cryptorchidism (undescended testicle)

  • Family history of testicular cancer

  • Cancer in the other testicle


Testicular cancer is usually painless until it is advanced. Most often, a hard lump on the testicle is found either by self-examination or by physical examination in a doctor's office. Some men complain of a heavy feeling in their groin. When testicular cancer has spread to other parts of the body (metastasis or metastatic disease), symptoms develop related to those locations, such as back pain, shortness of breath, or coughing.


  • A complete physical examination and medical history look for possible spread of testicular cancer, as well as other medical problems that may affect the treatment plan.

  • Complete blood count and blood chemistries including tests for serum alpha-fetoprotein, beta-human chorionic gonadotropin, and lactate dehydrogenase

  • Chest x-ray (looking for metastatic disease)

  • Ultrasound of the testicle

  • Magnetic resonance imaging

  • Computed tomography (CT) scan of the abdomen and pelvis


Testicular cancer is treatable and is now curable in many cases. Orchiectomy (surgery to remove the cancerous testicle) is the main treatment. More advanced surgical procedures, such as lymph node dissection, may be required if the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes. Radiation therapy, where specialized forms of radiation are directed to the testicular, groin, and pelvic areas, may be prescribed if there has been spread of the cancer. Chemotherapy (drug treatments for cancer) may also be used in combination with surgery in patients with advanced or metastatic testicular cancer.



To find this and previous JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page link on JAMA 's Web site at http://www.jama.com. Many are available in English and Spanish.

Sources: American Cancer Society, National Cancer Institute

The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA . The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JAMA suggests that you consult your physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 203/259-8724.




Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Spanish Patient Pages
Supplemental Content

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles