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NHS Choices Condition

Content supplied by NHS Choices

Testicular cancer accounts for approximately 0.7% of all cancers. It's the most common cancer in men between the age of 20 and 35. Approximately 1,960 men are diagnosed with the condition each year in the UK. Around 70 people die every year from testicular cancer.

The testicles are part of the male reproductive system. They produce sperm and the male hormone testosterone. The testicles hang down behind the penis, and are located within the scrotum (a loose bag of skin).

The body is made up of millions of different types of cells. Sometimes these cells can become abnormal and start to multiply. When this happens it causes a growth, known as a tumour, to form. Tumours can be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). They can occur in any part of the body where the cells multiply abnormally.

Testicular cancer is different from many other types of cancer. Most cancers tend to affect older people. Testicular cancer, however, is more common in young and middle-aged men. Approximately 50% of all cases of testicular cancer affect men who are under 35 years of age, and 90% of cases affect those who are under the age of 55.

Cancer of the testicles is also one of the most treatable forms of cancer. Over 95% of men make a full recovery from testicular cancer.

Types of testicular cancer

There are two main types of testicular cancer:

  • seminoma, and
  • non-seminoma

The terms seminoma and non-seminoma refer to the type of cell that makes up the cancerous tumour. Seminoma testicular cancers only contain seminoma cells. Non-seminomas may contain a variety of different cancer cells. However, both types of testicular cancer are treated in a similar way.

Testicular cancer is also a type of germ cell cancer. A germ cell cancer is one that starts in the cells that are used to make sperm or eggs (ovarian cancer is another type of germ cell cancer).

view information about Cancer of the testicle on www.nhs.co.uk »

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