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Testicular cancers are also called germ cell tumours (GCTs). Germ cells in men produce sperm, so these tumours usually develop in the testicles. We use the term testicular cancer for all types of testicular tumours.
If your specialist thinks you have testicular cancer they will organise an operation to remove your testicle|. After this operation, the tissue is examined under the microscope to find out the type of testicular cancer you have. There are two main types:
These usually occur in men between the ages of 25 and 55. About 40-45% of (4-4.5 in 10) men with testicular cancer have a seminoma.
This group of tumours are sometimes called teratomas. NSGCTs usually affect younger men aged between 15-35 years old. They occur in about 40-45% of (4-4.5 in 10) men with testicular cancer. NSGCTs include different types of tumours, such as teratomas and embryonal tumours. Many are a mixture of these types and other tumours, including seminomas. Although there are some minor differences, these tumours behave and are treated in similar ways.
Sometimes, a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma| can occur in the testicles. Other rare types are Leydig and Sertoli cell tumours. If you would like to talk to someone about these rarer types of cancer please call our cancer support specialists|.
Content last reviewed: 1 August 2012
Next planned review: 2014
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© Macmillan Cancer Support 2013
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