Testis Cancer

The testes are two nut-shaped glands within the scrotum, just below the penis. Their main function is to produce sperm and the male hormone testosterone.

Most men with testis cancer first notice a hard tumor in the scrotum.  Some men have sensations of “heaviness” in their testis. Some men with testis cancer will first discover have a tumor elsewhere (such as in the neck or abdomen) that is biopsied and then determined to be testicular cancer.

Diagnosis is made by removing the testis and examining its content under a microscope.  This operation is known as an orchiectomy. 

Testicular cancer is a common cancer among young American men.  Fortunately, it is very treatable, and most men with testis cancer are cured. 

Why Us? 

Urologists at the University of Arizona specialize in the latest surgical techniques to treat testes tumors
We will gladly spend the time necessary to answer all of your questions and concerns to help you choose the most optimal treatment
Our urologists are among a small group in the U.S. experienced in post-chemo RPLND
We work closely with colleagues in Radiation Oncology and Medical Oncology to offer the most comprehensive and contemporary treatment options in a multi-disciplinary approach

Treatment Options 

Treatments can consist of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these approaches. The best treatment depends on several factors, including the type of cancer (seminoma versus non-seminoma) and the extent of disease. X-ray studies and specific blood tests are used to guide decision-making. 

Almost all men with testis cancer undergo a diagnostic operation to remove the diseased testis, called a radical orchiectomy. During this operation, the testis and its surrounding capsule and “cord” are removed. The testis is removed through an incision in the lower abdomen to prevent spread of tumor cells. In some cases, this may be the only treatment required.

Often, additional treatment is necessary after the orchiectomy. Treatments after an orchiectomy can consist of surgery, radiotherapy, chemotherapy, observation or a combination of these approaches. 


If cancer has spread from the testis to the lymph nodes in the abdomen, your surgeon might recommend an operation called a retroperitoneal lymph node dissection [RPLND].  This operation removes cancerous cells that have escaped from the testis. Some patients need this surgery after chemotherapy. A “post-chemo” RPLND is more complex.

Chemotherapy & Radiation

Some men with testis cancer will benefit from either chemotherapy or radiation therapy.  This depends on they type of cancer and whether the X-ray and lab studies show persistence of the cancer after the orchiectomy.


Some men with testis cancer need no additional therapy after an orchiectomy. These men are candidates for observation or surveillance. This treatment approach involves close monitoring of the cancer with regularly scheduled X-ray studies and blood tests. If there is evidence that cancer has recurred, patients then get surgery and/or chemotherapy.