Tumour markers

Higher than normal levels of particular proteins mean you could have testicular cancer.

Testicular cancers can make 3 different markers:

  • alpha feta protein (AFP)
  • human chorionic gonadotrophin (HCG)
  • lactate dehydrogenase (LDH)

Not all testicular cancers make these chemicals. You could have a cancer without raised marker levels. Raised levels are more common in some types of testicular cancer than others. Non seminoma cancers tend to have higher levels more often than pure seminomas.

Your doctor tests the levels of markers in your blood throughout your treatment and afterwards. These tests help to show how well treatment works and can show if the cancer has come back.