After the surgeon has removed the testicle (orchidectomy) the tissue is examined under a microscope. This will find out the type of testicular cancer you have.
Most testicular cancers develop from germ cells in the testicles, so they are also called germ cell tumours (GCTs). Germ cells in the testicles produce sperm. The term testicular cancer is for all types of testicular tumour.
There are two main types of testicular germ cell cancer:
Seminomas usually happen between the ages of 15 to 55. About 40 to 45 in 100 (40 to 45%) of testicular cancer are a seminoma.
Non-seminomas most often affect people aged 15 to 35. About 40 to 45 in 100 (40 to 45%) of testicular cancers are non-seminomas.
Non-seminomas are made of different types of cells. They can be made of just one cell type, or they may be made of a mixture. They include:
- embryonal tumours
- yolk sac tumours
Sometimes, non-seminomas can be combined with seminomas.
We have more information about testicular cancer treatment.
Below is a sample of the sources used in our testicular cancer information. If you would like more information about the sources we use, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
European Association of Urology. Guidelines on Cancer. 2016. Available from: www.baus.org.uk/_userfiles/pages/files/professionals/sections/oncology/EAU2015-Testicular-Cancer.pdf (accessed August 2018)
European Society for Medical Oncology, eUpdate. Testicular Seminoma and Non-Seminoma Treatment Recommendations. June 2017. Available from: www.esmo.org/Guidelines/Genitourinary-Cancers/Testicular-Seminoma-and-Non-Seminoma/eUpdate-Treatment-Recommendation (accessed August 2018).
Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network, Management of adult testicular germ cell tumours. Available from: www.sign.ac.uk/sign-124-management-of-adult-testicular-germ-cell-tumours.html (accessed August 2018).
UpToDate. Clinical manifestations, diagnosis, and staging of testicular germ cell tumors. January 2018. Available from: www.uptodate.com/contents/clinical-manifestations-diagnosis-and-staging-of-testicular-germ-cell-tumors (accessed August 2018).
This information has been written, revised and edited by Macmillan Cancer Support’s Cancer Information Development team. It has been reviewed by expert medical and health professionals and people living with cancer. It has been approved by Senior Medical Editor, Dr Jim Barber, Consultant Clinical Oncologist.
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