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Testicular Cancer

Different Kinds of Testicular Cancer

There are several kinds of testicular cancer based on what kind of cancer cells are in the tumor.  A pathologist identifies these cells by looking at them under a microscope. It is important to know the kind of cancer a person has in order to know the best way to treat it. Below is a list of different tumor types.

Cancers Starting in the Testicle

Germ Cell Tumors (Over 90% of Testicular Cancer)

These cells are the part of the testicle that produce sperm. Below is a list of different kinds of germ cells where tumors may form:

Stromal Tumors

The part of the testicle known as the stroma can also develop tumors. The stroma is the support structure of the testicle.  Some of these cells, called Leydig cells, make male hormones like testosterone.  Other support cells, called Sertoli cells, give nutrients to other testicle cells.  For the most part, when these cells develop cancer, the cancer doesn’t spread to other parts of the body.  When it does, however, the cancer is difficult to treat.

Testicular Cancers Starting Elsewhere in the Body

Sometimes, testicular cancer does not start in the testicles. This is called a secondary tumor. Lymphoma is the most common cause of secondary testicular cancer. It is mostly found in men over 50 years of age. Other causes of secondary testicular cancer include prostate cancer, lung cancer.

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Last Reviewed: May 12, 2015

Associate Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University