Other tests will also be carried out to see if cancer has spread beyond the testicle to other parts of the body:
Some testicular cancers produce chemicals which are released into the bloodstream. These can be used to measure cancerous activity and are called tumour markers. They are alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), beta human chorionic gonadotrophin (BHCG) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH). If testicular cancer is present, abnormal tumour markers can be used with other investigations to decide on the best course of treatment.
Other blood tests to measure kidney and liver function will also usually be carried out.
A chest x-ray can identify any cancer which may have spread to the lungs.
Computerised Tomography Scan (CT Scan)
If it is clear that testicular cancer is present then surgery to remove the affected testicle will be performed. This is called an orchidectomy. If there is evidence that cancer has spread to other areas of the body, men may be referred to an oncologist (cancer specialist), before any surgery to remove the testicle.The oncologist will decide if treatment such as chemotherapy should be given before surgery.
Receiving a diagnosis of testicular cancer can be a shock. The Orchid helpline is staffed by nurses and is here to offer advice and support. Contact us for any support you need.