Testicular Cancer

What Is Testicular Cancer?


Testicles are part of the male reproductive system. The testicles are 2 egg-shaped glands located inside the scrotum. The scrotum is a sac of loose skin that hangs beneath the base of the penis.

Functions :

Testicular Cancer

The growth of uncontrolled mutated cells in the testicles is called esticular Cancer. Almost all Testicular Cancers start in the germ cells. Compared with other types of Cancer, Testicular Cancer is rare and is highly treatable even when Cancer has spread beyond the Testicle.

Types of Testicular Cancer


Though this cancer is malignant, it is highly curable if detected at an early stage. Seminomas also have a good prognosis with patients stage I to stage IIB having a 5 year survival rate of 98% to 92%. These are very sensitive to radiation. Generally, it occurs in the age group 30-50 years.


Classical Seminoma

More than 95% of seminomas are classical. These usually occur in men between 25 and 45.

Spermatocytic Seminoma

This rare type of seminoma tends to occur in older men. The average age of men diagnosed with spermatocytic seminoma is about 65. Spermatocytic tumors tend to grow more slowly and are less likely to spread to other parts of the body.


They tend to grow and spread more quickly than seminomas. A testicular tumor that contains both seminoma and nonseminoma cells are treated as a nonseminoma. They are more likely to affect between teenage to early 40s. They grow and spread rapidly and possibly faster than seminomas.


Embryonal Carcinoma

 Pure embryonal carcinomas occur only 3% to 4% of the time. This type of non-seminoma tends to grow rapidly and spread outside the testicle.

Yolk sac Carcinoma

This is the most common form of testicular cancer in children (especially in infants), but pure yolk sac carcinomas are rare in adults. When they occur in children, these tumors usually are treated successfully.


This is a very rare and aggressive type of Testicular Cancer in adults. Pure choriocarcinoma is likely to spread rapidly to distant organs of the body, including the lungs, bones, and brain.

Pure teratomas of the testicles are rare and do not increase AFP (alpha-fetoprotein)or HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) levels. More often, teratomas are seen as parts of mixed germ cell tumors. They are further classified as:

Occurrence Rate of Testicular Cancer in India

Testicular Cancer is a rare tumor type accounting for 1% of malignancies in men. India had the lowest incidence of 0.5 per 100,000 men. Testicular Cancer is increasing in incidence in many countries; however, mortality rates remain low and most men are cured. An in-depth understanding of the risks and long-term side effects of treatment are important in prognosis.

Anatomy Of Testicular Cancer

What Are The General Symptoms Of Testicular Cancer?

Detection of testicular cancer at an early stage is aided by the following symptoms:

What Are The General Causes Of Testicular Cancer?

The exact causes of testicular cancer are yet not confirmed. However, there are a few factors that considerably increase the chances of getting the disease. Some of the risk factors are discussed below.

An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism)

The testicles usually develop inside the abdomen of the fetus and they descend into the scrotum before birth. Sometimes the testicle remains in the abdomen. In other cases, the testicle starts to descend but remains stuck in the groin area. Cryptorchidism with at least one testicle is found to the extent of 3% in prematurely born babies.

Undescended testicles continue moving down into the scrotum during the child’s first year of life. If the testicle has not descended by the time a child is a year old, it probably won’t go down on its own.

Males with cryptorchidism are several times more likely to get Testicular Cancer than those with normally descended testicles. In 90% of the cases, the undescended testis is confined to inguinal canal. It can be rectified through surgery.


Abnormal testicle development or Carcinoma in situ

Carcinoma in situ (CIS) means that there are abnormal cells in the testicle. It isn’t Cancer. There is no lump and usually no other symptoms.

These abnormal cells are completely contained. Unlike cancer cells, they can’t spread, if left untreated CIS develops into cancer in about half (50%) the men who have it.

CIS is most often found when a man has a testicular biopsy to check for infertility. It can be treated by removing the testicle to prevent testicular cancer from developing.


Family history

If family members have had testicular cancer, you may have an increased risk.



Testicular Cancer affects teens and younger men, particularly those between ages 20 and 35. However, it can occur at any age.



Testicular Cancer is more common in white men than in black men. It is 4 to 5 times more in white man than that of black men or Asian-American men.



Some evidence has shown that men infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), particularly those with AIDS, are at increased risk.


Injury to the testicles

Severe injury to the testicles can also cause Testicular Cancer.



A congenital condition in males in which the opening of the urethra is on the underside of the penis.


Can Testicular Cancer Be Prevented?

Many cases ofTesticular Cancer have no known factors. Also, the known factors of Testicular Cancer are natural and beyond one’s control. So it becomes quite impossible to prevent most cases of Testicular Cancer.

Regular examination and treating cryptorchidism might reduce the chances of occurrence of Testicular Cancer.

What Are The Stages Of Testicular Cancer?

Testicular Cancer can be staged as:

These stages are explained in details below:

T suffixed with a numerical or letter indicates the size and location of the tumor.

N stands for lymph nodes. Lymph is a fluid that flows from different tissues and organs of the body and eventually drains into the bloodstream. N indicated the size of the cancer cells and its size in the lymph node.
M indicates if the cancer cells have spread to distant cells of the body.
S indicates the level of serum makers.

Survival Rates Of Testicular Cancer?

Stage 5 year Survival Rate
Localized 99%
Regional 96%
Distant 73%
Survival rates indicate an average outcome of a large number of people who had the disease, but they cannot precisely predict the expectancy of any particular case. Multiple factors may affect a person’s outlook; however, the survival rate of testicular cancer is quite high.

Localized means the cancer is still only in the testicle.

Regional means that the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes or tissues Distant means that the cancer has spread to organs or lymph nodes away from the tumor.

Can Testicular Cancer Be Detected Early?

Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP).

Beta-human chorionic gonadotropin (β-hCG).

What Are The Treatments Available?

Depending on the type, stage of the cancer and other factors, treatment options for testicular cancer can include
Radiation therapy
Radiation therapy uses high-powered energy beams, such as gamma rays or X-rays, to kill Cancer cells. However, radiation therapy has got a few side effects as well that may include fatigue, as well as skin redness and irritation in your abdominal and groin areas. Radiation therapy is also likely to cause infertility.
Chemotherapy (chemo)
Chemotherapy treatment uses drugs to kill Cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs travel throughout your body to kill Cancer cells that may have migrated from the original tumor. Chemotherapy is also likely to cause infertility, which can be permanent.
High-dose chemotherapy and stem cell transplant
A stem cell transplant is a highly effective treatment for Testicular Cancer.
Is There Curative Treatment For Testicular Cancer?

Testicular Cancer is highly treatable, even when cancer has spread beyond the testicle. The most common method to treat Testicular Cancer is through surgery.


How Frequently Should One Visit Doctor For Early Diagnosis?

In case of experiencing any of the mentioned symptoms or having a prior or familial history of testicular cancer, a physical examination by a doctor is highly recommended.


How Can I As A Patient Know It Early?

Being aware of the signs and symptoms will definitely help a patient to suspect the disease. In some cases, men discover Testicular Cancer themselves, either unintentionally or while doing a testicular self-examination to check for lumps. In other cases, your doctor may detect a lump during a routine physical exam.