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Testicular cancer

Testicular cancer affects about 170 men in Ireland each year.

Testicular cancer is treated with surgery, and sometimes chemotherapy or radiotherapy.

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is when normal cells in the testicles change and grow into cancer.  The cancer can affect how the testicles work normally. Sometimes testicular cancer cells spread to lymph glands at the back of the abdomen, the chest or neck. 

Testicular cancer is rare, but it’s the most common cancer in young men aged between 15 and 44. About 170 men are diagnosed with testicular cancer every year in Ireland.

Testicular cancer is very treatable and is nearly always curable.

What are the testicles and what do they do?

The testicles (also known as the testes) are two small, egg-shaped organs found below your penis in a pouch of skin called the scrotum. They are part of the male reproductive system. Once you reach the age of puberty the testicles make sperm.

The testicles lie outside your body because they need to be at a lower temperature than the body to make sperm. Sperm is needed to fertilise the female egg after sex, which will grow into a baby. The testes also make the hormone testosterone. This hormone is responsible for male qualities such as a deep voice, facial hair and strong muscles. It also plays a role in your sex drive and the ability to have an erection.


We use the term ‘man / men’ in our testicular cancer information but we understand that not everyone who has testicles identifies as a man.

Whoever you are, wherever you come from, we are here for you. For confidential advice, information and support, contact our Support Line on Freephone 1800 200 700.

More information about testicular cancer treatment

Treatment for testicular cancer includes surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For more information about treatments for testicular cancer, visit our treatment page. For specific treatment information use the links below.

Coping with testicular cancer treatment and side-effects

Looking for support?

Our cancer support section contains information and advice on coping with cancer for diagnosed patients and their loved ones.

Publications about testicular cancer
Downloadable booklets and factsheets
How to check your testicles poster thumbnail
How to check your testicles poster
Information on how to check your testicles for change that could be cancer. An A4 poster to download, share, or print.
Testicular cancer leaflet
Testicular Cancer - What You Should Know leaflet
This leaflet gives you an overview of testicular cancer and what affects your risk. It also looks at how to check your testicles and more.
Testicular cancer booklet
Testicular cancer booklet
Information for testicular cancer patients, including tests, staging, treatment and side-effects, and how to cope.

Medical content updated from our 'Understanding testicular cancer' booklet (2022) reviewed by Arun Z Thomas, Consultant Urological Surgeon, Lynn Casey, Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Urology, and Annmarie O’Shea, Urology Nurse Cancer Co-Ordinator.

For more information

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1800 200 700

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