Testicular cancer occurs when malignant cells develop in the tissues of the testicles, either one or both. Your testicles are two walnut-shaped sex glands whose work is to produce sperm and the hormone testosterone. They are inside the scrotum, which is a sac of skin below the scrotum.
Testosterone controls the development of the male reproductive organs and other physical characteristics.
According to research, about 1 in 250 males in the United States develop testicular cancer during their lifetime.
The condition is most common among young and middle-aged men. The average age at diagnosis is 33. It rarely occurs before puberty and only 8% of cases are in people older than 55 years of age.
Testicular cancer is a serious condition. However, with proper and immediate care, it is treatable and curable.
Types of Testicular Cancer
There are different types of testicular cancer and 90% of them are caused by germ cells that clump up in your testicles to form a mass or tumor. The germ cells eventually develop into sperm. Two common types of testicular cancer caused by germ cells include:
- Seminoma: This slow-growing cancer is common among people in their 40s or 50s.
- Non-seminoma: This grows more rapidly than seminomas and is more common among people in their teens, 20s, and 30s. There are four types of non-seminoma tumors. They are yolk sac carcinoma, embryonal carcinoma, teratoma, and choriocarcinoma. Each is named after the type of germ cell that causes it.
Testicular cancer could consist of both cells.