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Genitourinary Oncology Program

Patient and Family Education

Testicular Cancer

What is Testicular Cancer?


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Dr. Heather Mannuel’s Bio Image

Get answers to your Testicular cancer questions.

Dr. Heather Mannuel’s Bio | Q&A Archive

Note: This is for informational purposes only. Doctors cannot provide a diagnosis or individual treatment advice via e-mail. Please consult your physician about your specific health care concerns.

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Cancer of the testicle (also called the testis), a rare kind of cancer in men, is a disease in which cancerous (malignant) cells develop in the tissues of one or both testicles. There are two testicles located inside of the scrotum (the sac of loose skin that lies directly under the penis). Sperm and male hormones are made in the testicles.

There are three main types of testicular tumors, which develop in different types of cells in the testicles. The most common type, called a germ cell tumor, develops in the germ cells, the cells that produce sperm cells. About 90 percent of testicular tumors are germ cell tumors.

Stromal cell tumors are much less common; they are cancers that start in the hormone-producing cells in the testicles. There are several different subtypes of germ cell and stromal cell tumors. A third type of testicular tumor, called a secondary testicular tumor, is a tumor that results from cancer that has started elsewhere in the body. Many of these tumors begin as lymphoma, particularly in men over the age of 50.

This page was last updated on: October 6, 2009.