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Testicular cancer

This page was reviewed under our medical and editorial policy by
Maurie Markman, MD, President, Medicine & Science at CTCA.

This page was updated on July 20, 2022.

The testicles, or testes, are male sex glands that produce sperm. Because they also manufacture the male sex hormone testosterone, the testicles are considered both part of the endocrine system and part of the male reproductive system.

Reproductive cells called germ cells develop into sperm through a process of cellular division called meiosis. Under normal circumstances, cell division is regulated. Sometimes, the germ cells begin to divide uncontrollably and, instead of producing functional sperm, the germ cells create copies of themselves. When this happens, the cells are considered cancerous. This kind of out-of-control division may happen in other types of cells in the testicles, but nearly 95 percent of all testicular cancers are germ cell tumors.

Through rare among the general population, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men between 15 and 44 years old. The median age of a patient diagnosed with the disease is 33, exactly half the median age of all new patients for all cancers combined.

About 9,910 new cases of testicular cancer are expected to be diagnosed in the United States in 2022, according to the American Cancer Society.

No testicular cancer patient is the same. Get personalized treatment.

At Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA), we use a range of tools and technologies to diagnose testicular cancer. After a comprehensive diagnostic evaluation of the disease, our doctors will work with you to develop a treatment plan tailored to your needs, preferences and goals. We also offer supportive care therapies to help with pain management and to address emotional and sexual impacts this type of cancer may cause.

This overview will cover the basic facts about testicular cancer, including:

If you believe you may be experiencing symptoms of testicular cancer and want to schedule an appointment for diagnostic testing, or if you’re interested in a second opinion on your testicular cancer diagnosis and treatment plan, call us or chat online with a member of our team.

What causes testicular cancer?

Who gets testicular cancer?

About 80 percent of testicular cancers occur in adult men under the age of 44, with more than half occurring in men between 20 and 34 years old.

White males have a five times’ greater risk of developing testicular cancer than black men, and a three times’ greater risk than Asian-American or Native American men. Hispanic/Latino men are at higher risk than Asian-Americans, but at a lesser risk than white males. Testicular cancer occurs most frequently in the United States and Europe.

Men who have an undescended testicle are also at an increased risk of testicular cancer, specifically in the undescended testicle.

Stephen Hook

Stephen H.

Hodgkin Lymphoma

"There is so much more to the experience of CTCA than just the treatment. Some people have asked me why I travel for treatment, why I don’t just go somewhere local. Doesn’t it make life complicated? No, it doesn’t. CTCA takes the worry away. Scheduling, appointments, all of these details are taken care of. My response when people ask me about the inconvenience of traveling for treatment is that all I need to do is get there and get myself home. CTCA takes care of everything else."

MORE ABOUT STEPHEN

More About STEPHEN

Types of testicular cancer

Many types of cells are found in the testicles, all of which may become cancerous.

Types of testicular tumors may include:

  • Seminoma tumors, including classical (typical) seminomas and spermatocytic seminomas
  • Non-seminoma tumors, including embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac carcinoma, choriocarcinoma and teratoma
  • Stromal tumors, also called gonadal stromal tumors, including Leydig cell tumors and Sertoli cell tumors

Learn more about testicular cancer types

Testicular cancer symptoms

Diagnosing testicular cancer

Diagnostic tests for testicular cancer may include:

Learn more about diagnostic procedures for testicular cancer

Testicular cancer treatments

CTCA approach to helping you maintain your quality of life

Supportive care

Supportive care therapies that may be recommended to help patients with testicular cancer stay strong and maintain their quality of life include:

​Pain management

Pain management is a branch of medicine focused on reducing pain and improving quality of life through an integrative approach to care.

​Oncology rehabilitation

​Oncology rehabilitation includes a wide range of therapies designed to help you build strength and endurance.

Behavioral health

​Our behavioral health support program is designed to support you and your caregivers before, during and after cancer treatment.

Learn more