Cancer Home > Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is a condition in which there are cancer cells in one or both of a man's testicles. The cause of the disease is unknown; however, risk factors such as having an undescended testicle, being Caucasian, and having a family history of the disease, can increase your risk. Symptoms include a painless lump or swelling in the testicle, a dull ache in the abdomen or groin, and a sudden buildup of fluid in the scrotum. More than 95 percent of the time, the disease can be cured. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

What Is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer is a disease in which cells become malignant (cancerous) in one or both testicles. Each year, approximately 8,000 men are diagnosed with it, and 390 men die as a result of the disease.
 
Testicular cancer:
 
  • Occurs most often in men between the ages of 20 and 39
  • Is the most common form of cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 34
  • Is most common in Caucasian men, especially those of Scandinavian descent.
     
Testicular cancer accounts for only 1 percent of all cancers in men in the United States.
 

Understanding the Testes

The testicles are two egg-shaped glands that are located inside the scrotum, which is 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, vessels, and nerves of the testicles. The testicles are the male sex glands that produce testosterone and sperm. Germ cells within the testicles produce immature sperm that travel through a network of tubules (tiny tubes) and larger tubes. The germ cells then travel into the epididymis, which is a long, coiled tube that is next to the testicles where the sperm mature and are stored.
 
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Last reviewed by: Arthur Schoenstadt, MD
Last updated/reviewed:
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