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Testicular cancer

Testicular Cancer

What is testicular cancer?

The testicles (also called the “testes”) are part of the male reproductive system (Figure 1). They are found in the scrotum—the pouch of skin that hangs below the penis. The testicles make testosterone and sperm.

testicles testicular cancer
Fig. 1: the testicle

Testicular cancer is a growth called a tumour that starts in the testicle (Figure 2) and can sometimes spread to other parts of the body (Figure 2). There are two main types of testicular tumour:

  • Seminomas can grow in men at any age but are less aggressive.
  • Non-seminomas usually affect younger men and are more likely grow and spread quickly.
tumour testicle testicular cancer
Fig. 2: tumour in the testicle

Risk factors for testicular cancer

  • Age 18 to 35 years
  • An undescended testicle (cryptorchidism), in the past or the present
  • Opening for urine on the underside of the penis instead of at the tip (hypospadias)
  • Poor sperm production that makes it difficult getting a partner pregnant
  • Abnormal testicle development
  • Family history (father or brother had testicular cancer)
  • White race
This information was produced by the European Association of Urology (EAU) Patient Information Working Group.
– Dr. F. Esperto, Rome (IT)
– Dr. U.N. Joensen, Roskilde (DK)  
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