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- Patient Comments: Testicular Cancer - Symptoms
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- Testicular cancer facts*
- What is testicular cancer?
- What are the risk factors for testicular cancer?
- What are testicular cancer symptoms and signs?
- What tests do health-care professionals use to diagnose testicular cancer?
- How is testicular cancer staging determined?
- What are the stages of testicular cancer?
- What is recurrent testicular cancer?
- What is the treatment for testicular cancer?
- What are the five types of standard treatment for testicular cancer?
- Are there clinical trials for patients with testicular cancer?
- What follow-up is needed after treatment of testicular cancer?
- What are testicular cancer treatment options by stage?
- What is the treatment for recurrent testicular cancer?
- What is the prognosis of testicular cancer?
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What is testicular cancer?
Testicular cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles.
The testicles are 2 egg-shaped glands located inside the scrotum (a sac of loose skin that lies directly below the penis). The testicles are held within the scrotum by the spermatic cord, which also contains the vas deferens and vessels and nerves of the testicles.
The testicles are the male sex glands and produce testosterone and sperm. Germ cells within the testicles produce immature sperm that travel through a network of tubules (tiny tubes) and larger tubes into the epididymis (a long coiled tube next to the testicles) where the sperm mature and are stored.
Almost all testicular cancers start in the germ cells. The two main types of testicular germ cell tumors are seminomas and nonseminomas. These 2 types grow and spread differently and are treated differently. Nonseminomas tend to grow and spread more quickly than seminomas. Seminomas are more sensitive to radiation. A testicular tumor that contains both seminoma and nonseminoma cells is treated as a nonseminoma.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in men 20 to 35 years old.
What are the risk factors for testicular cancer?
Anything that increases the chance of getting a disease is called a risk factor. Having a risk factor does not mean that you will get cancer; not having risk factors doesn’t mean that you will not get cancer. Talk with your doctor if you think you may be at risk. Risk factors for testicular cancer include:
- Having had an undescended testicle.
- Having had abnormal development of the testicles.
- Having a personal history of testicular cancer.
- Having a family history of testicular cancer (especially in a father or brother).
- Being white.