Further tests after diagnosis

Once your diagnosis is definite, your specialist will arrange for you to have further tests. These are to find out if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The results help your doctors decide on the best treatment for you.

Occasionally, men who are having scans to investigate their symptoms are diagnosed with a testicular cancer that has spread. Testicular cancer can still usually be cured even if it has spread when it is diagnosed.

Blood tests

After your orchidectomy, you’re likely to have further blood tests to recheck the levels of any tumour markers, particularly if they were raised before your surgery. Other blood tests can check how well your liver and kidneys are working.

CT (computerised tomography) scan

This may be done to check for any signs the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes in the abdomen or elsewhere in the body.

A CT scan takes a series of x-rays, which build up a three-dimensional picture of the inside of the body.

The scan takes 10–30 minutes and is painless. It uses a small amount of radiation, which is very unlikely to harm you and will not harm anyone you come into contact with. You will be asked not to eat or drink for at least four hours before the scan.

You may be given a drink or injection of a dye, which allows particular areas to be seen more clearly. This may make you feel hot all over for a few minutes. It’s important to let your doctor know if you are allergic to iodine or have asthma, because you could have a more serious reaction to the injection.

You’ll probably be able to go home as soon as the scan is over.

Waiting for test results

Waiting for test results can be a difficult time. It may take from a few days to a couple of weeks for the results of your tests to be ready. You may find it helpful to talk with your partner, family or a close friend. Your specialist nurse can also provide support. You can also talk things over with one of our cancer support specialists on 0808 808 00 00.

Back to Tests and scans

Tumour markers

Tumour markers are measured by a blood test. They help diagnose the cancer and show how well treatment is working.