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Biopsy for testicular cancer

What is a biopsy?

During a biopsy, a doctor removes a sample of tissue or fluid from the body. A pathologist inspects the cells under a microscope to see if they are cancerous. If the cells are found to be cancerous, a biopsy can help determine whether the cancer began at the site of the biopsy, or if it started somewhere else in the body and spread to the biopsy site.

Some biopsies are performed under image guidance, such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). This allows your doctor to collect cells from deeper inside the body. Depending on the type of biopsy performed, you will receive an anesthetic to minimize any pain.

Biopsy medical animation

Video: Biopsy Medical Animation

Medical animation

Biopsy for testicular cancer

While imaging tests can be very helpful in evaluating whether or not testicular cancer may be present, the only way to know for certain is to examine a sample of the suspected tissue. In many cases, if the surgeon is certain a tumor is present, he/she will simply remove the entire tumor as well as the testicle and spermatic cord in a procedure known as a radical inguinal orchiectomy. However, if the diagnosis is uncertain, the surgeon may perform a biopsy.

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