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Referral to a specialist

Your GP should arrange for you to see a specialist if you have symptoms that could be due to testicular cancer. Depending on your symptoms and other factors, this might be an urgent referral.

Seeing your GP

It can be hard for GPs to decide who may have cancer and who might have a more minor condition. For some symptoms, your doctor may ask you to wait to see if the symptoms get better or respond to treatment, such as antibiotics.

UK referral guidelines

There are guidelines for GPs to help them decide who needs a referral.

Some of the UK nations have targets around how quickly you’ll be seen. In England an urgent referral means that you should see a specialist within 2 weeks.

Scotland, Wales and (in general) Northern Ireland don't have the 2 week time frame to see a specialist. But wherever you live, you are seen as quickly as possible.

Ask your GP when you are likely to get an appointment

Urgent referral to a specialist

You should get an urgent referral to see a specialist if you have:
  • a non painful swelling or lump in the testicle
  • a change in shape or texture of the testicle

Your GP should consider referring you for a testicular ultrasound scan if you have unexplained or continuing testicular symptoms.

If you're still worried

Sometimes you might feel that your GP is not concerned enough about your symptoms. If you think they should be more concerned, print this page and the symptoms page. Ask your GP to talk it through with you. Then you might be able to decide together whether you should see a specialist.

Last reviewed: 
18 Aug 2020
Next review due: 
18 Aug 2023
  • Scottish referral guidelines for suspected cancer
    Health Improvement Scotland, January 2019

    Suspected cancer: recognition and referral [NG12]
    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE), 2015 (Updated July, 2017)