Testicular cancer is cancer occurring in one or both of the testicles. There are two forms of testicular cancer: seminoma and nonseminoma. Seminoma tumors may affect all age groups but are more common in older patients, while nonseminoma tumors are more common in early life and spread rapidly.
More than 9,000 cases of testicular cancer are diagnosed in the United States each year and it is the most common form of cancer affecting American males between 15 and 35 years of age. Despite this, it has a relatively high survival rate and is usually treated successfully.
Symptoms of testicular cancer are a lump or enlargement of one of the testicles, a dull ache in the groin or abdomen, pain or discomfort of the testicle or scrotum, back pain, tender or enlarged breasts, and the collection of fluid in the testicles. Typically, testicular cancer only affects one of the testicles.
Risk factors that may increase the likelihood of testicular cancer are an undescended testicle or other abnormal testicular development, a family history of the condition, and being between 15 and 35 years of age. Regular examination of the testicles for lumps is recommended to ensure any case of testicular cancer is diagnosed early.
Treatment of testicular cancer often involves surgery to remove the affected testicle and, in some cases, the nearby lymph nodes. Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and medication may also be recommended. Drug classes used in the treatment of testicular cancer are podophyllotoxin derivatives, actinomycines, other cytotoxic antibiotics, nitrogen mustard analogs, platinum compounds, and vinca alkaloids and analogs.