What is Testicular Cancer?

What is Testicular Cancer?

The formation of a malignant tumour on the male sex organ is called testicular cancer. It is the most common form of cancer found in men aged 15 to 45. The risk for this cancer is higher for men who have been previously diagnosed with undescended testicles. The tumours are usually detected by self-examination. Testicular cancers are curable if found during the early stages.

Types of Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer is classified based on the type of cell where the cancer is formed. The testicles are made of a combination of cells and it is important to know which type of cell got affected and what type of cancer it is in order to determine the prognosis and treatment.

Germ Cell Tumour

90% of cancers form in the germ cells. They are the cells that make the sperm. The two kinds of tumours that start in the germ cells are called seminomas and non seminomas. There is a possibility of a mixed cell germ tumour as well, which is treated as a case of non seminoma due to their similar behaviour.

Seminomas are further classified into Classical seminoma andless common spermatocytic seminoma where the latter tends to spread more gradually.
Non seminoma is classified into four types:

  • Choriocarcinoma
  • Embryonal carcinoma
  • Yolk sac carcinoma
  • Teratoma

They can be mixed cell tumours as well. This cancer is found in men in their late teens to early 40s.

Carcinoma in Situ

This type of cancer can start as a non-invasive form called the intratubular germ cell neoplasia (CIS). It can only be diagnosed with a biopsy and treatment options range from orchidectomy and radiotherapy to chemotherapy.

Stromal Tumours

This is the type of testicular cancer that forms in the supportive hormone-producing tissues called stroma. The common Stroman tumours found are Sertoli cell tumours and Leydig cell tumours. This cancer forms 20% of childhood testicular tumours.