Testis Cancer

Cancer of the testicle is relatively rare compared with other cancers - a man's lifetime risk is about 1 in 500. Men with a history of undescended testis are at higher risk, perhpas even 1:50. Testis cancer usually presents as a painless swelling of the testicle. Sudden painful swellings are usually inflammatory. One particular cause of sudden pain and swelling of the testicle is so-called testicular torsion which is a surgical emergency. If you have sudden onset pain in the testicle particularly with swelling, you should proceed to the emergency department immediately for assessment for possible testicular torsion.


Usually a history and physical examination will raise the possibility of testicular cancer. An ultrasound will often be ordered to confirm this. Your urologist we'll then decide if he feels the swelling is do to a possible cancer the testicle and whether the testicle needs to be removed. We do not normally biopsy at testicle for possible cancer as this can spread the cancer and change treatment. Also be aware that there are many other causes for swelling in the scrotum and are benign and of no concern or threat, including hydrocele, spermatocele, varicocele, etc.


There are different types of testicular cancer, and further treatment beyond removal of the testicle depends on several factors including cancer type, as well as further test results from blood work, chest x-ray, CT scan. Your urologist will give you some idea of the possible adjuvant treatments depending on these factors. Ultimately, treatment and followup after your urologist removes the cancerous testicle is carried out by the specialists at the BC Cancer Agency.

General Information on Cancer

UNDERSTANDING CANCER - Metrovan Urology info on the principles of diagnosis, staging, prognosis and more.

American Cancer Society

BC Cancer Agency: Good general website from the British Columbia Cancer Agency. Has contact information on locations.

National Cancer Institute: Excellent source of understandable and mainly unbiased information. Several very good brochures on every stage of prostate cancer.

National Comprehensive Cancer Network: peer-reviewed expert content/prostate cancer guidance on evidence-based cancer diagnosis and management. Best for Prostate and Kidney Cancer. The most in-depth information is located in the physician section and requires registration.

General Urology Websites

Canadian Urological Association  Extenstive library of downloadable pamphlets on a wide range of urological conditions

Cleveland Clinic

Mayo Clinic

Medline Plus Produced by the US National Institutes of Health with information on virtually every health topic and extensive list of links

UrologyHealth.org The patient information site of the American Urological Association.