The testicles are two glands inside the scrotum (a sac of loose skin below
the penis). The testicles make sperm and the hormone testosterone.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men 15-34 years of age.
The two main types of testicular tumors are seminoma and nonseminoma.
Nonseminomas tend to grow and spread more quickly than seminomas.
The most common sign of testicular cancer is a lump or swelling in the
testicle. Most testicular cancers can be cured, even if they are diagnosed
at an advanced stage.
Treatment for testicular cancer can cause infertility by decreasing the
amount of sperm made by the body. Men who want to have children may want
to use sperm banking to store sperm before they begin treatment.
Key points to consider
Testicular cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in
the tissues of one or both testicles. Health history can affect the risk
of testicular cancer.
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer include swelling or discomfort
in the scrotum.
Tests that examine the testicles and blood are used to detect (find) and
diagnose testicular cancer.
Certain factors affect prognosis (chance of recovery) and treatment options.
- Treatment for testicular cancer can cause infertility.
- Testicular cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in
the tissues of one or both testicles.
The testicles are 2 egg-shaped glands located inside the scrotum (a sac
of loose skin that lies directly below the penis). The testicles are held
within the scrotum by the spermatic cord, which also contains the vas
deferens and vessels and nerves of the testicles.
The testicles are the male sex glands and produce testosterone and sperm.
Germ cells within the testicles produce immature sperm that travel through
a network of tubules (tiny tubes) and larger tubes into the epididymis
(a long coiled tube next to the testicles) where the sperm mature and
Almost all testicular cancers start in the germ cells. The two main types
of testicular germ cell tumors are seminomas and nonseminomas. These 2
types grow and spread differently and are treated differently. Nonseminomas
tend to grow and spread more quickly than seminomas. Seminomas are more
sensitive to radiation. A testicular tumor that contains both seminoma
and nonseminoma cells is treated as a nonseminoma.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men 20 to 35 years old.
Health history can affect the risk of testicular cancer.
Risk factors for testicular cancer include:
- Having had an undescended testicle.
- Having had abnormal development of the testicles.
- Having a personal history of testicular cancer.
- Having a family history of testicular cancer (especially in a father or brother).
- Being white.
Signs and symptoms may be caused by testicular cancer or by other conditions:
- A painless lump or swelling in either testicle.
- A change in how the testicle feels.
- A dull ache in the lower abdomen or the groin.
- A sudden build-up of fluid in the scrotum.
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or in the scrotum.
Source: National Cancer Institute
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