Although testicular cancer is relatively rare in the general population of men, it is the most common cancer diagnosed in men between the ages of 15 to 34. It is a highly treatable cancer with more than 90% of all such cancers being labeled as cured following therapy. The cure rate is nearly 98% when the cancer is detected early.
The Glickman Urological and Kidney Institute is home to some of the world's leading urologists and cancer specialists. They are always available for primary examinations or consultation with other urologists and primary care physicians.
What is testicular cancer?
As with all cancers, testicular cancer evolves from a disruption in one or more genes in a cell’s DNA. Genes control all cell activities including division and growth. When cells die, a normal and common event, they are replaced by new cells as the body needs them. However, when the genes that orchestrate this natural replacement process are disrupted by chemicals, illness, or other unknown factors, control over cell division and growth is lost.
The resultant uncontrolled growth of tissue becomes a tumor. The vast majority of testicular cancer arises in germ cells, the reproductive cells of the body. In women these cells are the ova. In men they are the sperm.
There are two primary types of testicular cancers: seminoma and non-seminoma. Seminoma arises from young germ cells, grows slowly and stays relatively immobile. Between 30% and 40% of testicular cancers are seminoma. Non-seminoma evolves from more mature germ cells. These tend to be more aggressive tumors. There are also testicular cancers that are a blend of both seminoma and non-seminoma.