The testicles (also called the testes) are the male sex glands and produce and store sperm. They are a man's main source of male hormones, which control the development of the reproductive organs and other male characteristics, such as body and facial hair, low voice, and wide shoulders.
Testicular cancer occurs when cells become malignant (cancerous) in one or both testicles. More than 90% of all testicular cancers begin in sperm-producing cells called germ cells.
Most types of testicular cancer originate from germ cell tumors, which develop in germ cells (sperm-producing cells). Germ cell tumors most commonly start in the testicles but can also develop in other parts of the body, such as the back of the abdomen, the center part of the chest and lower spine.
There are two different categories of germ cell tumors that occur in the testicles:
- Seminoma, a slow-growing form of testicular cancer usually found in men in their 30s and 40s
- Non-seminoma, a more common type of testicular cancer that tends to grow and metastasize (spread) more quickly than seminoma
Testicular cancer accounts for less than 2% of all cancers in men, but is the most common cancer found in men age 13-35. It is highly treatable and curable.
Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program
The Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program offers a range of diagnostic procedures, advanced treatment options and personalized support services for men with suspected or diagnosed testicular cancer.
Each patient receives an individualized treatment plan. Patients may obtain an outpatient second opinion with a Fox Chase Cancer Center oncologist who comes to Virtua to meet with the patient and family.
Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program's interdisciplinary care teams are staffed by oncology experts including board-certified, fellowship-trained surgical oncology specialists and medical oncologists. They have earned their fellowships from leading medical institutions such as New York University Medical Center, Duke University Medical Center, and Memorial Sloan-Kettering. Oncology certified and advanced practice nurses provide education and support to patients and their families.
Interdisciplinary clinical care teams may also include:
- Radiation oncologists
- Clinical oncology social workers
- Medical oncologists
- Dietitians and physical therapists
Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program offers a range of support services including:
- Physical and occupational therapies
- Counseling with oncology social workers
- Medically integrated fitness programs
- Nutrition assessment and counseling
Testicular Cancer Treatment and Services
Virtua Fox Chase Cancer Program offers the latest options available to treat testicular cancer, including:
- Radical inguinal orchiectomy: Surgical removal of the testicle through an incision in the groin. This involves removal of the testis via a groin incision for suspected testicular cancer. A testicular implant may be inserted at the same time.
- Lymphadenectomy: Surgical removal of the lymph nodes located deep in the abdomen. Treatment may cause infertility.
- National and regional clinical trials