Testicular cancer is not common. Each year, less than 9,000 men in the United States are diagnosed with this condition. Testicular cancers start in the testicles, which are the two male organs that make male hormones and sperm.
In the United States, testicular cancer is more common in white men than in other ethnicities. It frequently occurs in men between the ages of 20 and 34.
There are some known risk factors for testicular cancer. However, in most cases the male has none of these risk factors:
- Testicles that remain in the belly (where they develop during pregnancy) after birth
- Family history of the disease
- HIV infection
- Prior testicular cancer
Patients who have risk factors or who experience symptoms should see their doctor. Below are symptoms for testicular cancer, however these symptoms can often be caused by a condition other than testicular cancer:
- Lump or swelling on the testicle, which may be painful
- Early puberty in pre-pubescent boys
- Low back or belly pain
There are two main testicular cancer types:
- Cancer in the cells that make sperm (seminomas and non-seminomas)
- Tumors of the hormone-producing tissues (stroma) of the testicles