Cancer Treatment Centers of America

Types of testicular cancer

Every testicular cancer patient is different. The cancer experts at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA) have extensive experience in properly staging and diagnosing the disease, and developing a treatment plan that's tailored to your specific type of testicular cancer.

Treatment of testicular cancer may depend on the kind of cells involved. There are many types of cells found in the testicles, all of which can become cancerous. However, there are two main types of tumors that account for the majority of testicular cancers:

  • Seminoma: There are two sub-types of seminomas, and the classical (typical) seminomas are more likely to occur in men between ages of 30 and 50. Spermatocytic seminomas are less common and are found more frequently in men 55 years and older. However, both types of seminoma tumors may occur in all age groups.
  • Non-seminoma: There are four main sub-types of non-seminoma tumors: embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac carcinoma, choriocarcinoma, and teratoma. These types of tumors generally occur between the teen years and early 40s. They also tend to grow and spread more quickly than seminomas.

Testicular cancer may involve one or both kinds of tumors.

Stromal tumors are sometimes referred to as gonadal stromal tumors. This is a rare form of testicular cancer, accounting for only about five percent of cases. In addition to producing sperm for reproduction, the testicles, or male gonads, are also a component of the endocrine system, a series of hormone-producing glands. The stromal cells in the testes produce male sex hormones (androgens), like testosterone. Most stromal tumors are benign; that is, the tumor cells typically do not spread (metastasize) to other parts of the body. However, stromal tumors that do spread sometimes do not respond to conventional treatments, like chemotherapy or radiation. Stromal tumors include:

  • Leydig cell tumors
  • Sertoli cell tumors

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