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Testicles are normally positioned in scrotum, a bag-like formations just underneath the penis. They produce both male sex hormones and sperm cells. These hormones control the development of the reproductive organs and other male physical characteristics. As is the case with almost all other cancers, the cause of testicular cancer remains unknown. However, testicular cancer is highly treatable when diagnosed early. Regular testicular self-examination is essential for successful treatment.
Incidence of the condition
Caucasian males are at an increased risk of developing testicular cancer, as are men with a positive family history of the illness. Men whose testicles do not come down into the scrotum are also considered to be at great risk of cancer. Men with groin hernia, recurrent swelling of the testicles, or orchitis are all considered to be in a high–risk group.
Types of testicular cancer
There are two main types of testicular cancer: seminoma and teratoma. They have similar symptoms, but their histological structure is entirely different. Seminoma is made from a single type of cell, while teratoma consists of more then one type of cell.
There are two types of seminoma a swell, the classical type and the spermatocytic type. Over 95% of seminomas are classical. The average age of men with spermatocytic type of carcinoma is 55, which is almost 10 to 15 years older then the average age for all other types of testicular cancer.
There are also several other types of testicular cancer, such as embryonic carcinoma, yolk sac carcinoma, and choriocarcinomas, but they rarely occur .
Carcinoma that has spread on other parts of body is called invasive testicular carcinoma. The non-invasive form is called carcinoma in situ, or intratubular germ cell neoplasia.
Approximately 5 years is enough for the non-invasive form to transform into the invasive form. Detecting and diagnosing carcinoma in situ before it develops into cancer is difficult, because it causes virtually no symptoms.