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Find out about the different types of testicular cancer.

The type of cancer depends on which type of cell it started in. Knowing the type helps your doctor know which treatment you need.

Seminoma and non seminoma

There are 2 main types of testicular cancer:

  • seminoma
  • non seminoma

Both types develop from germ cells in the testicles. The treatments are very similar for these types of testicular cancer. So the exact cell types won't make much difference to you.


Between 40 and 45 out of every 100 testicular cancers (40 to 45%) are pure seminomas. 

Non seminoma

Most other testicular cancers are mixtures of these types of non seminoma:

  • teratoma
  • embryonal carcinoma
  • choriocarcinoma
  • yolk sac tumours

A non seminoma testicular cancer might have some teratoma cells and some embryonal carcinoma cells, for example. It's also possible to have pure teratomas. 

Mixed tumours

Some testicular tumours have both seminoma cells and non seminoma cells.

Rare types of testicular cancer

These types of testicular cancer are extremely rare, with only a few men diagnosed in the UK each year.


This mostly occurs in men over the age of 50. If you've been diagnosed with a lymphoma in the testicle, you can find out about treatment in our non-Hodgkin lymphoma section.


Mesothelioma starts in the cells that make up the covering layers of the body. It usually occurs in the chest or abdomen and very rarely starts in the testicle.

Last reviewed: 
09 Sep 2014
  • Cancer Research UK Statistical Information Team

  • Testicular seminoma and non seminoma: ESMO Clinical Practice Guidelines for diagnosis, treatment and follow up
    J Oldenburg and others
    Annals of Oncology, 2013, 24 (supplement 6 ): vi125-vi132

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