• Conditions InDepth: Testicular Cancer

    Testicular cancer is a disease in which cancer cells grow in one or both testicles. The testicles (or testes) are a pair of male sex glands that produce sperm and male hormones. They are located under the penis in a sac-like pouch called the scrotum. At the top of each testis is a bunch of tiny tubules that collect and store sperm. This structure is called the epididymis. The sperm travel from the epididymis through the spermatic cord (or vas deferens) and out through the urethra during ejaculation.
    Male Genitalia
    IMAGE
    Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.
    Cancer occurs when cells in the body (in this case, testicular cells) divide without control or order. Normally, cells divide in a regulated manner. If cells keep dividing uncontrollably when new cells are not needed, a mass of tissue forms, called a growth or tumor. The term "cancer" refers to malignant tumors, which can invade nearby tissues and can spread to other parts of the body. A benign tumor does not invade or spread.
    Undescended testes (also called cryptorchidism) and testicular atrophy are associated with testicular cancer. The link between undescended testes and testicular cancer is high. Other risk factors, such as maternal estrogen use, testicular trauma, or infection have not clearly demonstrated a correlative relationship.
    Normally the testes, which are inside the abdomen before birth, migrate into the scrotum by the time of birth. Occasionally though, boys are born with testes that are still in the abdomen or in the groin, not having completed their journey to the scrotum. This is called undescended testes. These testes are at high risk of cancer and should be moved into the scrotum or removed entirely as early as possible. Testicular atrophy describes testicles that are smaller than normal in size and occurs as a result of trauma or infection.
    Testicular cancer is the most common form of cancer in young men between ages 20 and 35. The peak annual incidence ranges from 8 to 14 per 100,000 men between ages 20 and 35, with a smaller peak in early childhood. The incidence in black men is less than one-fifth that of white men.
    Currently, over 90% of testicular cancers are cured.
    What are the risk factors for testicular cancer?What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?How is testicular cancer diagnosed?What are the treatments for testicular cancer?Are there screening tests for testicular cancer?How can I reduce my risk of testicular cancer?What questions should I ask my doctor?What is it like to live with testicular cancer?Where can I get more information about testicular cancer?

    References

    Cashen AF, Wildes TM. The Washington Manual of Hematology and Oncology Subspeciality Consult. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolter Kluwers Health; 2008.

    Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center website. Available at: http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/ . Accessed January 31, 2006.

    Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Isselbacher KJ, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 14th ed. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies; 2000.

    Revision Information

  • Join WellZones today.

    Make a Change For LifeLearn more

    Wellmont LiveWell is creating a new tradition of wellness in the mountains by providing individuals with tools and encouragement to live healthier lifestyles.

  • HeartSHAPE Spotlight

    HeartSHAPE® Test Learn more

    Fight heart disease early and prevent heart attacks with HeartSHAPE® - a painless, non-invasive test that takes pictures of your heart to scan for early-stage coronary disease.

  • Calories and Energy Needs

    Calorie NeedsLearn more

    How many calories do you need to eat each day to maintain your weight and fuel your physical activity? Enter a few of your stats into this calculator to find out.

  • Ideal Body Weight

    Ideal Body WeightLearn more

    Using body mass index as a reference, this calculator determines your ideal body weight range. All you need to do is enter your height.

  • Body Mass Index

    Body Mass IndexLearn more

    This tool considers your height and weight to assess your weight status.


  • Can we help answer your questions?

    Wellmont Nurse Connection is your resource for valuable health information any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Speak to a Nurse any time, day or night, at (423) 723-6877 or toll-free at 1-877-230-NURSE.