Testicular cancer is a type of cancer that begins within the testicles. The cancer cells no longer follow normal growth patterns, multiplying uncontrollably. If untreated, the cancer can spread and result in death.
This type of cancer starts within the cells of a testicle. The two testicles, or testes, are glands that produce male hormones and sperm. They hang beneath and behind a man's penis in a pouch of skin called the scrotum. The spermatic cord, composed of the sperm duct, nerves, and blood vessels, connects each testicle to the body.
Testicular cancers begin in the testicles themselves. Testicular cancer may spread slowly or rapidly through the lymphatic or blood vessels, depending on its type, but the path is consistent: Once cancer cells are free to spread to nearby lymph or blood vessels, they could be carried to the lungs, then to the liver, bones, and possibly the brain.
Thanks to advances in diagnosis and treatment, testicular cancer is among the most treatable of cancers, even in an advanced stage, and it is rarely fatal. Over 90% of patients are diagnosed with small, localized cancers that are highly treatable. Improved detection and treatment techniques have raised the overall five-year survival rate above 95% for most of these cancers. Even if cancer has spread to nearby organs at diagnosis, patients have an excellent chance of long-term survival.
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Archived: March 20, 2014
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