If your healthcare provider suspects you have testicular cancer, he or she will conduct a physical exam and take a thorough medical history. Other tests may include:

  • Ultrasound
  • Serum tumor marker test, a simple blood test that looks for elevated levels of particular substances in the blood, also called “tumor markers.” Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG) and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) are tumor markers used in suspected cases of testicular cancer.
  • If it’s determined that a lump is likely cancer, an inguinal orchiectomy may be performed. This surgery removes the entire testicle. A sample of its tissue is examined for cancer cells.

If cancer cells are present, they will be analyzed to determine whether the cancer is a seminoma tumor (typically not as aggressive as a nonseminoma) or a nonseminoma (which tends to grow and spread rapidly).