Sometimes, cancer cells from the testicles can spread to nearby lymph nodes. Lymph nodes are part of the lymphatic system. The lymphatic system helps protect us from infection and disease. It also drains lymph fluid from the tissues of the body, before returning it to the blood. The lymphatic system is made of fine tubes called lymphatic vessels. These lymphatic vessels connect to groups of lymph nodes throughout the body.
Sometimes, cancer cells from the testicles can spread to the lymph nodes at the back of your tummy (abdomen). These are called the retroperitoneal lymph nodes. They are just behind your bowel and in front of your spine. If testicular cancer cells spread, these are the lymph nodes cancer they are most likely to spread to.
You will have a CT scan to check if any of these nodes are larger than normal.
The retroperitoneal and pelvic lymph nodes
Below is a sample of the sources used in our testicular cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
European Association of Urology. Guidelines on Cancer. 2016. Available from: www.baus.org.uk/_userfiles/pages/files/professionals/sections/oncology/EAU2015-Testicular-Cancer.pdf (accessed August 2018)
European Society for Medical Oncology, eUpdate. Testicular Seminoma and Non-Seminoma Treatment Recommendations. June 2017. Available from: www.esmo.org/Guidelines/Genitourinary-Cancers/Testicular-Seminoma-and-Non-Seminoma/eUpdate-Treatment-Recommendation (accessed August 2018).
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, Management of adult testicular germ cell tumours. Available from: www.sign.ac.uk/sign-124-management-of-adult-testicular-germ-cell-tumours.html (accessed August 2018).
UpToDate. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and staging of testicular germ cell tumors. January 2018. Available from: www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-manifestations-diagnosis-and-staging-of-testicular-germ-cell-tumors (accessed August 2018).
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Dr Jim Barber, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.
Our cancer information has been awarded the PIF TICK. Created by the Patient Information Forum, this quality mark shows we meet PIF’s 10 criteria for trustworthy health information.
Content under review
The language we use
We want everyone affected by cancer to feel our information is written for them.
We try to make sure our information is as clear as possible. We use plain English, avoid jargon, explain any medical words, use illustrations to explain text, and make sure important points are highlighted clearly.
We use gender-inclusive language and talk to our readers as ‘you’ so that everyone feels included. Where clinically necessary we use the terms ‘men’ and ‘women’ or ‘male’ and ‘female’. For example, we do so when talking about parts of the body or mentioning statistics or research about who is affected. Our aims are for our information to be as clear and relevant as possible for everyone.
You can read more about how we produce our information here.