Testicular cancer is fairly rare, with just under 8,000 new cases a year in the United States. But this is among the most common cancers in young men, typically striking between the ages of 15 and 34. Caucasian men are five times as likely to develop testicular cancer as African American men. The rate of testicular cancer in the United States has risen 51% since World War II for unknown reasons, according to a study by James McKiernan, MD, John K. Lattimer Professor of Urology, and Chair of the Department of Urology at Columbia University Irving Medical Center/NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. Testicular cancer is a highly treatable and usually curable form of cancer. Studies show that it has a cure rate in all stages combined that exceeds 95%.
The testicles produce sperm and the male hormone testosterone, and contain several types of cells in which cancer can develop. More than 90% of testicular cancers originate in germ cells, the cells that make sperm. These tumors can be further classified as seminomas or non-seminomas. Seminomas are composed of one type of cell, while nonseminomas contain a mixture of cell types. Nonseminomas tend to grow faster, develop at earlier age, and have a lower 5-year survival rate. While seminomas are more sensitive to radiation and to chemotherapy, new treatments are improving the prognosis for nonseminomas.
Testicular cancer sometimes develops in the hormone-producing cells and the supportive tissues (stroma) of the testicles. These tumors are called stromal tumors and are often benign.
About Testicular Cancer
Read about testicular cancer risk factors, symptoms, screening and diagnosis, and more.
Testicular Cancer Treatments
Testicular cancer is a highly complex disease and may require a number of possible treatment avenues.