What is testicular cancer?
The testicles (also called the “testes”) are part of the male reproductive system (Fig. 1). They are found in the scrotum—the pouch of skin that hangs below the penis. The testicles make testosterone and sperm.
Testicular cancer is a growth called a tumour that starts in the testicle (Fig. 2) and can sometimes spread to other parts of the body (Fig. 3). There are two main types of a testicular tumour:
- Seminomas can grow in men at any age but are less aggressive.
- Non-seminomas usually affect younger men and are more likely to grow and spread quickly.
What is my prognosis?
Your prognosis is your risk of the cancer growing and/or coming back after treatment. The type and stage of testicular cancer will help you and your doctor understand this.
Your doctor will look at:
- Your personal and family history of testicular cancer
- Cancer type (seminoma vs. non-seminoma)
- Whether the cancer cells have spread to other tissues or organs (metastasis)
- Levels of tumour markers in blood tests, especially for non-seminomas, which are aggressive