UI Hospitals and Clinics

Testicular Cancer Program

The key to a successful treatment with testicular cancer is to seek care early. Success rates with testicular cancer if caught before it spreads are 96 percent. Know the most common symptoms and don’t delay seeking treatment.

The challenge is that testicular cancer can have many symptoms or no symptoms at all. Many men find testicular cancer themselves and notice a change in their testicles. The most common changes are: a painless lump or swelling, a pain or discomfort in a testicle or scrotum, an enlarged testicle or change in the way it feels, a feeling of heaviness in the scrotum, a dull ache in the abdomen, back or groin, or fluid in the scrotum. If you experience any of these, don’t delay. Speak with your doctor.

At University of Iowa Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, our highly experienced physicians and staff are dedicated to taking care of you, not just your cancer. As part of a nationally recognized cancer center, our team focuses on every aspect of testicular cancer, including what your life will be like when your treatment is complete. Our clinicians are also top researchers, finding new and innovative treatments and therapies, as well as what it takes to get you back to your life. We are always searching for ways to make the best cancer treatments even better.

Services That Set Us Apart

  • Experts focused on testicular cancer. Our team of specialists focuses only on cancers of the urinary system. Because our specialists concentrate only on urological cancers such as prostate cancer, they understand the disease and know about the most recent treatment option—from innovative surgeries to chemotherapy to radiation therapy.
  • Surgical options and more. The standard treatment for testicular cancer is removal of the testicle and may be followed up with radiation, chemotherapy, or a bone marrow transplant. Early medical attention is the key so if you suspect testicular cancer, see your doctor.
  • Fertility expertise. Many men fear the loss of a testicle will change their sex life or make them impotent. Removal of a testicle does not cause impotence. There is the potential of impotence as a side effect of radiation or chemotherapy for testicular cancer. For men who are concerned about having children later in life, Holden experts work with other UI Hospitals and Clinics experts to offer sperm banking before treatment.
  • New infusion suite just for you. Our infusion suite was designed with patient input to create a comfortable, welcoming environment. Take our virtual tour.

Our Approach

Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center is the only institution in Iowa—and one of only 45 nationwide—to be designated a Comprehensive Cancer Center by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Of the approximately 1500 cancer centers and programs in the United States, NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers are rated in the top 4 percent nationally.

To be a "comprehensive" center means our medical teams have met strict guidelines in clinical, laboratory, and population-based research.

As members of an NCI-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, our doctors, nurses, and staff are among the nation’s leaders in cancer research, education, prevention, and outreach. Our experience—and our expertise—guides the cancer care we provide to patients like you.

Facts About Testicular Cancer

  • If caught early before it spreads, testicular cancer has a success rate of 96 percent.
  • Most men find their own testicular cancer by finding a lump in their testicles. But sometimes there are no symptoms.
  • Most testicular cancer patients are found in white men between the ages of 20 and 35 but it can affect men of all races and ages.
  • Risk factors include: having had an undescended testicle, an unusual testicular development, or a family history of testicular cancer.

Clinical Trials and Research

This is an exciting time in the world of cancer research. Our physicians are also researchers and they understand new developments to treat testicular cancer.

Since 2013, the genito-urinary cancer team has been collecting tissues, DNA and other information about many cancers of the urinary system. With more than 400 samples, researchers are able to better understand how cancer works and develop new treatment options.

Clinical trials are where research meets patient care. Clinical trials are research studies that test out the latest treatments and drugs that are not yet available to the wider public. These new treatments have the potential to improve your quality of life or increase your chances of survival.

See all of the clinical trials at Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Support Our Mission

Our work is made possible in part by the support of donors through charitable giving. Friends of Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center can become partners in our efforts to control—and ultimately cure—cancer. Learn how you can help us make a difference for cancer patients

Testicular Cancer Care Team

We bring together experts from different areas of medicine to work together as a team called a multidisciplinary oncology group, focused on a specific cancer type, such as testicular cancer.

This team of specialists—surgical oncologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, radiologists, pathologists, pharmacists, genetics counselors, nurses, and others—works together to design a treatment plan that is tailored to your cancer and your specific treatment needs.

Co-Leader: James Brown, MD (Surgeon)
Co-Leader: Daniel Vaena, MD (Medical Oncology)


Medical Oncology

Radiation Oncology



Research nurses

  • Pam Zehr, RN
  • Jill Wegeman, RN
  • Janan Geick-Miller, RN
  • Susan Butcher, RN
  • Michelle Arnold, RN
  • Mary Schall, RN