Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Biopsy for testicular cancer

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.

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. 

Some biopsies are performed endoscopically, others under image guidance, such as ultrasound, computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in the radiology suite. In some cases, biopsies are performed in the operating suite. 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 reduce discomfort.

Compared with other diagnostic tests for cancer, biopsies often provide a more definitive diagnosis. A biopsy may help determine whether the cancer began at the site of the biopsy sample, or if it started somewhere else in the body.

Some sites that are commonly biopsied include the breast, skin, bone marrow, GI tract, lung, liver, bladder, colon and lymph nodes. Our doctors determine the most appropriate method of biopsy based on several factors, such as the size, shape, location, and characteristics of the abnormality.

Biopsy medical animation