Testicular Cancer

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that develops in part of the male reproductive system called the testicles. In adolescents it is usually the type called (mixed) germ cell tumor, while young men more often suffer from a testicular cancer called seminoma.

How common is testicular cancer in adolescents and young adults?

Testicular cancer is the most common type of tumor affecting adolescents and young men between the ages of 15 and 35. It is estimated that almost 9,000 men will be diagnosed in the U.S. with testicular cancer each year, and the incidence appears to be on the rise.

What are the symptoms of testicular cancer?

A painless swelling of one of the testicles leading to enlargement over weeks and months. Many testicular cancers also produce a chemical substance that can be detected in the blood and helps the doctor to find a recurrence even before it becomes visible.

What is the treatment for testicular cancer?

If discovered at an early stage (before the cancer has spread to areas outside of the testis), surgery alone, combined with close surveillance is adequate. Once the tumor has spread to other parts of the body, surgery, chemotherapy, in some cases even radiotherapy are necessary

What are the chances of survival for children diagnosed with testicular cancer?

Survival rates for those diagnosed with stage I and stage II testicular cancer (cancer only in testis) are as high as 95 percent; but for those diagnosed with stage III testicular cancer, the survival rates drop to about 75 percent.

What is Texas Children’s Cancer Center doing to study and treat testicular cancer?

Texas Children’s is an advocate for teaching self-examination to adolescent boys and young men, just as is being done for breast self-exams in women. However, a recent survey about testicular cancer and self-examination among adolescents found that although 73 percent of adolescents have heard about testicular self-exams, only 10.3 percent actually performed them as recommended. Texas Children’s Cancer Center participates in national studies for the treatment of testicular tumors.