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Testicular Cancer

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Phone: (310) 794-7700

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Testicular Cancer: Symptoms, Treatment & Diagnosis

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Testicular Cancer Overview

UCLA's Testicular Cancer Program is multidisciplinary, comprehensive, and focuses on the whole patient. We offer personalized care that includes the latest testicular cancer treatments in surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. The Program is part of the Institute of Urologic Oncology in the UCLA Department of Urology and is affiliated with UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center. We are committed to a team approach to caring for our patients with testicular cancer. This includes well-coordinated efforts from our urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, radiologists, nurses, and office staff. We also offer mental health support services for patients and their families. All these resources allow for customized perspectives in deciding on the best treatment for each patient. The UCLA Testicular Cancer Program is directed by Dr. Mark Litwin, Professor of Urology and Public Health. Dr. Litwin joined the UCLA faculty in 1993 after training in urologic oncology at Harvard. Dr. Litwin is a longtime testicular cancer survivor himself, so he knows this disease from both sides of the white coat.

What is Testicular Cancer?

Definition

Testicular Cancer Awareness:
Dr Litwin on Fox TV

Mark S. Litwin, M.D., M.PH., Chief of Urology at UCLA, and Testicular Cancer Survivor, Jonathan Sommers, speak to Fox 11 News about testicular cancer symptoms and how to check for testicular cancer.
Testicular Cancer Patient Story »

Testicular cancer is a disease in which cells become malignant (cancerous) in the male testis (the glands inside the scrotum that produce sperm and male hormones). It is the most common solid tumor diagnosed in men between the ages of 15 and 34 in the United States. Approximately 8,000 new cases are diagnosed each year, but fewer than 400 men die of the disease each year. Thanks to advances in the treatment of testicular cancer, the prognosis is excellent for most men diagnosed with testicular cancer. When found and treated early, more than 95 percent of men are cured.
Testicular cancer patient story »

Types of Testicular Cancers

The majority of testicular cancers are known as germ cell tumors.  These are tumors that begin in undeveloped sperm-producing cells. There are two types of germ cell tumors:

  • Seminomas.  This type of tumor is very responsive to treatment.
  • Non-seminomas.  This type of tumor tends to be more aggressive and can grow and spread quickly.

Some tumors are made up of both types. In rare cases, testicular cancer may develop in the stroma – the supportive tissues of the testicles.

Incidence - Risk Factors

Although there is no known cause, several factors are known to raise a man’s risk. These are:

  • Undescended testicle (cryptorchidism).  Normally, the testicles descend from the abdomen into the scrotum before birth.  The risk of testicular cancer increases in the testicle that has not descended.  This risk does not change even if this is corrected by surgery.
  • Congenital abnormalities.  Men born with abnormalities involving the penis, testicles, or kidneys, as well as those who have a hernia in the groin area, may be at increased risk.
  • Family history.  Having a brother or father who had testicular cancer increases the risk.
  • History of testicular cancer.  Men diagnosed with cancer in one testicle are at increased risk of developing the disease in the other testicle.
  • Race/ethnicity.  In the United States, testicular cancer is much more common in Caucasians than in other ethnic groups, with rates highest among men of Scandinavian descent. For reasons that are not clear, the number of testicular cancer cases has doubled among Caucasian men in the last four decades.

For the majority of men diagnosed with testicular cancer, there are no known risk factors.

At UCLA Urology, Our Testicular Cancer Mission is You

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Patient Story

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Mark S. Litwin, M.D., M.PH., Chief of Urology at UCLA, and Testicular Cancer Survivor, Jonathan Sommers, speak to Fox 11 News about testicular cancer symptoms and how to check for testicular cancer.

The Department of Urology at UCLA is one of the most progressive and comprehensive urology programs in the country. Our faculty members work side by side with research scientists for new cures and treatments for testicular cancer cancer.

Our goal is to provide you with fast, easy access to the physicians and services at UCLA. For assistance in determining which UCLA urologist(s) may have expertise to help you, please call the Urology Appointment phone number:
(310) 794-7700

View a patient story » Meet our doctors » Request an appointment »

 

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