Enhanced Verifiable CPD from the
University of Birmingham

Dentaljuce Shorts: 500 words, 10 MCQs, on general medicine and surgery.

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a malignancy that develops in the testicles, part of the male reproductive system. It presents mainly in males aged 20 to 34 and is highly treatable, with a five-year survival rate of approximately 95% in the United States. However, treatment may result in infertility.

Signs and Symptoms

One of the first signs of testicular cancer is often a lump or swelling in the testes.

Image showing the first sign of testicular cancer
Image showing the first sign of testicular cancer

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommends against routine screening for testicular cancer in asymptomatic males, but the American Cancer Society suggests monthly self-exams for those with a family history of cancer. Symptoms may include:

  • A lump in one testis, which may or may not be painful.
  • Sharp pain or a dull ache in the lower abdomen or scrotum.
  • A feeling of "heaviness" in the scrotum.
  • Firmness of the testicle.
  • Breast enlargement (gynecomastia) due to hormonal effects.
  • Low back pain, indicating possible spread to lymph nodes.

If the cancer spreads to other organs, symptoms may also include shortness of breath, cough, coughing up blood due to lung metastasis, and a lump in the neck from lymph node metastasis.


A major risk factor is cryptorchidism (undescended testicles). Other risk factors include inguinal hernias, Klinefelter syndrome, and mumps orchitis. Physical activity is associated with decreased risk, while sedentary lifestyle increases risk. Higher rates of testicular cancer in Western nations have been linked to cannabis use.


Micrograph (high magnification) of a seminoma. H&E stain.
Micrograph (high magnification) of a seminoma. H&E stain.

Diagnosis typically begins with the detection of a lump or mass in the testicle. Imaging studies like scrotal ultrasound, blood tests for tumour markers (e.g., alpha-fetoprotein, human chorionic gonadotropin), and CT scans to locate metastases are employed.

Mixed germ cell tumour containing embryonal carcinoma, seminoma, and yolk sac tumour
Mixed germ cell tumour containing embryonal carcinoma, seminoma, and yolk sac tumour

Inguinal orchiectomy, the surgical removal of the testicle, is preferred over biopsy to prevent the spread of cancer cells. Post-surgery, the tumour is staged according to the TNM Classification of Malignant Tumours.



The primary treatment is the surgical removal of the affected testicle (orchiectomy). In cases of non-seminomas, retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) may be performed to remove lymph nodes in the lower abdomen.

Adjuvant Treatment

Adjuvant treatment with chemotherapy or radiotherapy is often recommended to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. The choice depends on the tumour's histology and stage. Surveillance with periodic CT scans and blood tests may be an alternative to adjuvant treatment in less advanced cases.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy is mainly used for stage II seminomas or as adjuvant therapy for stage I seminomas. However, it is ineffective against non-seminomas.


For advanced non-seminomas, chemotherapy protocols such as Bleomycin-Etoposide-Cisplatin (BEP) are standard. For seminomas, adjuvant chemotherapy with carboplatin is increasingly used due to fewer long-term side effects compared to radiation therapy.


Testicular cancer has a high cure rate, with more than 95% of cases cured and around 80% for metastatic disease. Surveillance is very important for detecting relapses early, particularly for stage I cancers. Sperm banking may be advised for those undergoing treatments that may affect fertility.

After having the testicles removed through orchiectomy, testicular cancer survivors may experience long-lasting feelings of sadness or embarrassment
After having the testicles removed through orchiectomy, testicular cancer survivors may experience long-lasting feelings of sadness or embarrassment

Psychological Factors

The psychological impact of testicular cancer and its treatments can be profound. Issues such as diminished masculinity, altered sexual identity, and body image concerns can lead to anxiety and depression. Fear of recurrence is common, affecting one-third of survivors significantly. However, many survivors also report personal growth and positive lifestyle changes post-recovery.


Testicular cancer is most common in men aged 15–40 years, with the highest prevalence in the U.S. and Europe. Incidence has doubled since the 1960s, particularly in Scandinavia, Germany, and New Zealand. In the UK, approximately 2,000 cases are diagnosed annually, with less than 1% of cancer deaths in men attributed to testicular cancer.

Relative incidences of testicular tumours
Relative incidences of testicular tumours

Other Animals

Testicular tumours also occur in other animals, such as horses, where they include interstitial cell tumours and teratomas.

Self-assessment MCQs (single best answer)

What age group is primarily affected by testicular cancer?

Which of the following is NOT a common symptom of testicular cancer?

What is the major risk factor for developing testicular cancer?

Which diagnostic method is preferred to prevent the spread of cancer cells in testicular cancer?

Which treatment is NOT typically used for non-seminomas?

What is the standard chemotherapy protocol for advanced non-seminomas?

What percentage of testicular cancer cases are cured in the United States?

Which of the following is a psychological issue commonly faced by testicular cancer survivors?

Which organisation recommends monthly self-exams for those with a family history of testicular cancer?

In the UK, how many cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed annually?


Dentaljuce provides Enhanced Continuing Professional Development (CPD) with GDC-approved Certificates for dental professionals worldwide.

Founded in 2009 by the award-winning Masters team from the School of Dentistry at the University of Birmingham, Dentaljuce has established itself as the leading platform for online CPD.

With over 100 high-quality online courses available for a single annual membership fee, Dentaljuce offers comprehensive e-learning designed for busy dental professionals.

The courses cover a complete range of topics, from clinical skills to patient communication, and are suitable for dentists, nurses, hygienists, therapists, students, and practice managers.

Dentaljuce features Dr. Aiden, a dentally trained AI-powered personal tutor available 24/7 to assist with queries and provide guidance through complex topics, enhancing the learning experience.

Check out our range of courses, or sign up now!

Membership Options

Dentaljuce offers a range of membership options…

Regular Membership

With enhanced CPD Certificates. Dentaljuce is brought to you by the award winning Masters team from the School of Dentistry, University of Birmingham, UK. All have won awards for web based learning and teaching and are recognised as leaders and innovators in this field, as well as being highly experienced clinical teachers. Full access to over 100 courses, no extras to pay.

Buy Now

£89.00 per year

Student Membership

No Certificates. With universities cutting down on traditional lectures, many students are currently having to rely more on online resources. If you don't need CPD Certificates, we are offering an amazing discount on your Dentaljuce personal membership fee. Special student price just £29 for 12 months individual membership.

Buy Now

£29.00 per year

Really good, very user friendly and practical.

© Dentaljuce 2024 | Terms & Conditions | Privacy Policy

Recording CPD time: recorded.