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Types of testicular cancer

Men and woman discussing testicular cancer

This page is about the different types of testicular cancer. There is information about

 

A quick guide to what's on this page

Types of testicular cancer

There are 2 main types of testicular cancer and they are called seminomas and non seminomas. They develop from germ cells in the testes. About 40 to 45 out of 100 testicular cancers (40 to 45%) are pure seminomas. Most of the rest are mixtures of different types of non seminoma testicular cancer. All these testicular cancers are treated in more or less the same way.

Lymphoma is the most common other type of cancer found in the testicles in men over 50. If you have been diagnosed with a lymphoma in the testicle, then you need to go to the non Hodgkin's lymphoma section.

 

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The main types of testicular cancer

There are 2 main types of testicular cancer and they are called 

  • Seminomas
  • Non seminomas

They develop from germ cells in the testes. Between 40 and 45 out of every 100 testicular cancers (40 to 45%) are pure seminomas. Most of the rest are mixtures of these other types of non seminoma testicular cancer

  • Teratoma
  • Embryonal carcinoma
  • Choriocarcinoma
  • Yolk sac tumours

A non seminoma testicular cancer may have some teratoma cells and some embryonal carcinoma cells, for example. It is also possible to have pure teratomas. The treatments are very similar for all these types of testicular cancer so the exact cell types will not make much difference to you.

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

Very rarely, other types of cancer can start in the testicles. The most common cancer found in the testicles in men over 50 is lymphoma. If you have been diagnosed with a lymphoma in the testicle, you can find information about treatment in the non Hodgkin's lymphoma section.

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Updated: 18 February 2013