How do doctors know if a testicular tumor is a seminoma or a non-seminoma?

Mark S. Litwin, MD
The way doctors determine whether testicular cancer is a seminoma or a non-seminoma is by removing the tumor and looking at it under a microscope. An X-ray cannot reveal this, and a biopsy is not done for testicular cancer.

Once the tumor has been removed by an operation called an orchiectomy, it is sent to the pathology department. The pathologists look at it carefully under the microscope and tell doctors if it is a seminoma, non-seminoma or some mixture of both. This helps doctors decide how to advise men on what to do next.

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