Diagnosing Testicular Cancer

To diagnose testicular cancer, NYU Langone doctors take a medical history and perform a physical exam, including a check of the scrotal area for pain, tenderness, or lumps. Your doctor may also order blood tests or imaging tests, such as an ultrasound.

Doctors almost never biopsy a testicle to diagnose testicular cancer, because it may complicate future treatment. Surgery to remove the testicle is the standard method to confirm a diagnosis of cancer.


An ultrasound of the scrotum and testicles uses sound waves to create images that are viewed on a computer monitor. These images can help the doctor determine where a tumor is located in the testicle, how large it is, and whether it is likely to be benign or cancerous.

Blood Test

A simple blood test performed in the doctor’s office may be used to identify tumor markers, substances made by a cancer that are found in the blood. Abnormally high levels of tumor markers, such as beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (BHCG), alpha-fetoprotein (AFP), and lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), may indicate the presence of testicular cancer.

CT Scans

A CT scan uses X-rays and a computer to create three-dimensional, cross-sectional images of the body. Your doctor may perform CT scans of your pelvis, abdomen, and chest to see if cancer has spread beyond the testicles. Sometimes, a special dye called a contrast agent is injected into the bloodstream to enhance the detail on the CT image.

More Testicular Cancer Resources

Meet Our Doctors

NYU Langone specialists provide care and support throughout your entire healthcare journey.

Browse Doctors