What Is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer develops in the testicles, or testes, the two male reproductive organs that produce several hormones and sperm. Testicular cancer is one of the most curable forms of cancer. Overall, testicular cancer is not that common, with fewer than 8,000 men in the United States diagnosed each year. It's the leading cause of cancer in men in their 20s and 30s, however, it can occur at any age.

There are different kinds of cells in each testicle, each of which can grow into one or more types of cancer. Although there are many kinds of testicular cancer, most of these can be placed in two categories:
  • Seminoma
  • Nonseminoma

Both types are known as germ cell cancers because they begin in germ cells that have the potential to grow and develop into different tissues and organs in a developing fetus.There are several different types of nonseminomas. They are faster growing than seminomas and have a tendency to spread to other parts of the body.

Currently, there is no sure way to prevent testicular cancer because there are few known causes for the disease. Many of the suggested risk factors are characteristics that cannot be changed, such as age and race. Furthermore, many men with testicular cancer do not have the suggested risk factors.