Most abnormalities of the
testes are found during a
self-examination or routine physical exam by a doctor.
testicular cancer is suspected, your doctor may want
to perform other tests, including:
Testicular ultrasound. This test may be
used to rule out other possible causes of an enlarged or painful testicle
before the testicle is removed. Ultrasound is a test that uses reflected sound
waves to produce an image of organs and other structures in the body. Unlike
many other imaging tests, an ultrasound does not use X-rays or other types of
possibly harmful radiation.
Blood tests, which are often performed
in order to measure the levels of tumor markers in your blood. Tumor markers
are substances that appear in your bloodstream when cancer is present. Tumor
marker levels are monitored at all stages of treatment for testicular cancer.
If the testicular ultrasound and blood tests suggest
testicular cancer, a doctor will surgically remove your affected testicle. This
procedure, called a radical inguinal orchiectomy, is done to confirm a
diagnosis of testicular cancer. Following orchiectomy, a
pathologist will examine tissue from the testicle
under a microscope (biopsy). If cancer is found, you may
have other imaging tests to see whether your cancer has spread beyond the
testes. The tests may be
CT scans, or
MRIs of the abdomen, chest, and head.
The family caregiver has many roles besides giving the patient hands-on care.
Most people think first of the physical care given by a family caregiver, but a caregiver fills many other roles during the patient's cancer experience. In addition to hands-on care, the caregiver may also do the following:
Manage the patient's medical care, insurance claims, and bill payments.
Be a companion to the patient.
Go with the patient to doctor appointments, run personal errands, cook, clean, and...
treatment for testicular cancer, your doctor will schedule a thorough follow-up
program to monitor your recovery, especially if you participate in a
surveillance program after your
initial treatment. These exams and tests may continue for several years
following your treatment. In addition to physical exams, your specific
follow-up program may include:
Periodic imaging tests such as chest X-rays or
Blood tests to check the levels of tumor markers in your blood.
Tumor marker levels that are stable or that increase after you've had treatment
may be a sign of more cancer.
A genital exam is an important part of a
routine physical exam for every adolescent boy and man.
Some doctors recommend that men ages 15 to 40 perform monthly testicular self-examination. But this is controversial.
Many doctors do not believe monthly TSE is needed for men who are at average
risk for testicular cancer. Monthly TSE may be recommended for men who are at
high risk for testicular cancer. This includes men with a history of an
undescended testicle or a family or personal history of testicular