Carolinas HealthCare System

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is cancer that typically develops in one or both testicles in young men. It is a highly treatable and usually curable form of cancer.

The testicles are a part of the male reproductive system. These two organs are generally somewhat smaller than a golf ball in adult males and are contained within a sac of skin called the scrotum, which hangs beneath the base of the penis.

The testicles contain several types of cells, each of which may develop into one or more types of cancer. It is important to distinguish these types of cancers from one another because they differ in the prognosis and in the ways they are treated.

Over 90 percent of cancers of the testicle develop in certain cells known as germ cells, which are the cells that produce sperm. The two main types of germ cell tumors that occur in men are seminomas and nonseminomas. Each kind of cancer occurs in nearly equal numbers. Some cancers contain both nonseminoma and seminoma cells. These are classified as nonseminomas because they grow and spread like nonseminomas.

Testicular Cancer Treatment:

The American Cancer Society estimates that in 2005, about 8,010 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed in the United States. In recent years, much progress has been made in treating testicular cancer. Surgical methods have been refined, and we know more about the best way to use chemotherapy and radiation to treat different types of testicular cancer.

After the cancer is diagnosed and staged, your cancer care team will discuss treatment options with you. The three main methods of treatment for testicular cancer are surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. As always, treatment approaches are reviewed for each stage of cancer. 

For additional information on testicular cancer, please visit the following websites:


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