Testicular Cancer

Our goal when treating testicular cancer is to cure your cancer while preserving your fertility and sexual function.

The urologists at Hackensack Meridian Health use the latest techniques to diagnose the exact stage and type of your testicular cancer. We then develop a treatment plan tailored to your lifestyle needs.

If you need surgery, we offer the region’s most advanced robotic surgery for testicular cancer. Our surgeons are among the few in the U.S. who perform robotic RPLND (retroperitoneal lymph node dissection) to minimize muscle and nerve damage. Our robotic approaches offer outstanding outcomes with a faster recovery and return to normal activities.

What is Testicular Cancer?

The testicles, or testes, are the male sex glands that produce sperm and testosterone. They are found behind the penis in a pouch of skin called the scrotum. Cancer in the testicles happens when cells become abnormal, turn into cancer and form tumors. Testicular cancer can develop in men of any age. 

What are the Symptoms of Testicular Cancer?

You should perform a regular self exam to check for changes in your testicles or scrotum. Talk to your doctor or see a urologist if you have any of the following symptoms, which may be a sign of cancer or another urology condition:
  • Painless lump or firm mass in a testicle
  • Swelling of the scrotum or testicle, with or without pain
  • Feeling of weight or heaviness in the scrotum
  • Pain in the testicle or scrotum
  • Dull ache in the abdomen or groin 
  • Changes to the male breast tissue, including tenderness

Accurate Diagnosis of Testicular Cancer

Your urologist will discuss your health history and examine your scrotum, abdomen and lymph nodes to look for signs of cancer, including lumps or swelling. 

Advanced testing by experienced uroradiologists is essential for an accurate diagnosis.  Imaging usually starts with ultrasound of the testicles to determine if lumps are solid or fluid-filled. MRI, PET or CT scans also may be done to identify tumors, learn more about their exact type and grade, and whether they have spread beyond the testicles. 

Most testicular cancer secretes proteins called biomarkers. Testicular cancer sometimes can be detected by testing your blood. A high level of a biomarker in your blood doesn’t necessarily mean you have cancer, but can help doctors make a diagnosis. We test for three biomarkers for testicular cancer: 

  • AFP (alpha-fetoprotein)
  • Beta hCG (human chorionic gonadotropin)
  • Testicular LDH (lactate dehydrogenase)
 

Robotic and Minimally Invasive Testicular Cancer Surgery

The urologists at Hackensack Meridian Health are recognized worldwide as leaders in robotic surgery. We are highly experienced in robotic and minimally invasive surgeries for testicular cancer.

Testicle Removal (Radical Inguinal Orchiectomy)

The most effective approach to treating testicular cancer is removing the testicle (radical inguinal orchiectomy). Hackensack Meridian Health urologists use a minimally invasive approach with only a small, one-inch incision. A saline-filled prosthetic can be put in place of the removed testicle.

Robotic RPLND (Retroperitoneal Lymph Node Dissection)

If it spreads, testicular cancer takes a predictable route through lymph nodes in the back of your abdomen. Your care team may recommend surgery to remove these lymph nodes.

The surgery (called RPLND) once required a large midline incision and lengthy hospital stay. Our urologists are among the few in the country who perform robotic RPLND using only one small incision. This approach will help preserve your ability to have an erection and minimizes damage to nerves involved with ejaculation. 

Hackensack University Medical Center was among the first hospitals in the world — and the first in New Jersey — to use the da Vinci SP® single-port robotic surgery system for urologic surgeries. Compared to traditional surgery, single-port robotic surgery for testicular cancer offers:

  • One incision, and less tissue damage
  • Increased precision and flexibility for complex surgeries
  • Decreased blood loss, reduced need for transfusions, and less risk of infection
  • Less pain after surgery
  • Smaller external and internal scars
  • Shorter hospital stay
  • Faster recovery and return to normal activities

Learn More About Our Robotic Urology Surgery

Other Treatments for Testicular Cancer

When it comes to treating testicular cancer, your care team will recommend the most effective treatment for your cancer while preserving as much of your function as possible. We collaborate with specialists across John Theurer Cancer Center on state-of-the-art treatments.

Chemotherapy uses medications that kill cancer cells. For advanced cancer that has spread beyond the testicles, chemotherapy has been proven very effective. Our team of urologists works with medical oncology colleagues at John Theurer Cancer Center to determine if systemic chemotherapy is appropriate for you. 

Radiation therapy delivers highly targeted energy beams to your tumor. Our advanced technology targets tumor tissue while sparing as much healthy tissue as possible. Whether radiation therapy is right for you is determined by our radiation oncology team based on your type, grade and stage of testicular cancer.

If you are concerned about how your cancer treatment may affect your ability to have children in the future, you and your urologist may discuss sperm retrieval and preservation. Hackensack Meridian Health offers urologists who specialize in male reproductive medicine. 

Learn More

Our Research and Clinical Trials

A hallmark of the care we provide is access to a wide range of clinical trials evaluating exciting new treatments for urologic cancers, including studies not available elsewhere. 
We have a particularly strong program committed to Phase I clinical trials, the earliest phase of assessment of a new therapy in patients. For urologic cancers, we are evaluating novel biological agents as well as immunotherapy options that are changing the field. This offers our patients an opportunity to participate in a clinical trial, bringing the options of tomorrow today. Learn more about clinical trials for urologic cancers.

Why Choose Hackensack Meridian Health for Testicular Cancer Treatment

Record of Success 
Hackensack Meridian Health has the most experience in New Jersey performing robotic surgery for testicular cancer. This approach allows us to effectively treat your cancer while preserving as much of your function as possible.

Nationally Recognized
Hackensack University Medical Center has been ranked the #1 Urology Department in New Jersey for nine years in a row by U.S. News & World Report and is the only urology department in New Jersey that is nationally ranked.

Awards & Accreditations | Year in Review

Our Doctors

Our award winning team of renowned surgeons, physicians, researchers and other health care specialists are able to provide you with exceptional urological expertise, advancements and cutting-edge technology to develop a highly- personalized plan for each and every one of our patients.

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