What is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer is also known as cancer of the testes which tends to occur in males inside the scrotum. The scrotum is found under the penis and is a loose bag of skin. The testicles or the gonads are the male sex glands wherein testosterone – the male sex hormone and sperm that is required for reproduction are produced.
Testosterone is essential because it is responsible for the development of various male physical characteristics as well as the male reproductive organs. Testicular cancer tends to occur when the cancerous cells become active in either one or both of the testicles. Testicular cancer is not as commonly observed as the other forms of cancer, however testicular cancer is known to be seen in males between the age of 15 and 35. Testicular cancer can be further classified into nonseminomas or seminomas based on the characteristics of the cells that constitute the tumor. There are also some other types of cancers that are known to develop in the testicles however they are very rare. At times, it has also been seen that testicular cancer may contain both nonseminoma as well as seminoma cells. Research has shown that testicular cancer is known to be more prevalent in white men and of late is also found to have increased in case of black men, though the exact reason for the racial differences and their role has not yet been discovered.
Typically there are three main types of tumors that cause testicular cancer, namely:
- Stromal Tumors: These tumors are known to multiply in parts of the testicles such as the cells that are responsible for making hormones.
- Germ Cell Tumors: These are the most commonly observed tumors resulting in testicular cancer. Germ cell tumors are found growing in the cells that produce sperm.
- Secondary Testicular Tumors: These tumors are the ones that have originated from cancer of any other part of the body which has then spread to the testicles.