Testicular Cancer - Stages and Types of Testicular Cancer

What Is Testicular Cancer?

Testicles are the sex glands in men and are responsible for producing hormones and sperm. The testicles are situated in the scrotum, an area below the penis. Several types of cells are present in testicles. These include germ cells, macrophages, Sertoli cells, Leydig cells, peritubular hyoid cells, and epithelial cells. The uncontrolled division of one or more of these cells results in tumor formation, and the condition is known as testicular cancer.

Testicular tumors generally occur in males between the ages of 15 and 45. Some forms of testicular cancer are rapidly progressive. Cryptorchidism (undescended testis) significantly increases the risk of testicular tumors.

How common is Testicular Cancer?

Testicular cancer is the most common abnormal tissue growth (neoplasm) in men between 15 and 40 years old. It represents 5% of the urological tumors and 1% of the neoplasms in adults. Western countries have higher incidences of testicular tumors than Asian and African countries. Although there is an increase in the incidence of testicular carcinoma, the mortality due to the disease has been almost similar for over three decades.

What are the Different Types of Testicular Cancer?

Following are the different testicular cancer types:

Germ Cell Tumors

It is the most common testicular tumor. Over 90% of testicular tumors originate in the germ cells. Germ cells are the cells present in the testicles that develop into sperm. It is one of the most highly treatable testicular cancer types. Germ cell tumor classification is done through microscopy and imaging (ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging). Testicular germ cell tumors are further classified into the following types:


This is one of the slow-growing testicular cancer types, and it usually affects people in their 40s and 50s. The three types of seminomas include spermatocytic, classical, and seminoma with syncytiocytotrophoblastic cells.


Non-seminomas progress at a relatively faster rate than seminomas. Patients mostly affected by non-seminomas are in their late 20s and 30s. There are various types of non-seminomas:

Sertoli cell tumors

These tumors originate from Sertoli cells. These cells support the normal growth of sperm.

Leydig cell tumors

Leydig cells, present in testicles, produce testosterone. Tumors developed from Leydig cells are known as Leydig cell tumors.

What are the Testicular Cancer Stages?

TNM Staging System

This procedure for staging is also known as tumor-node-metastasis staging. During staging, the clinicians determine the size of the tumor, its invasion of the nearby node, and if the tumor has spread to other body organs, such as the bones, lungs, liver, or brain. The classification of the tumor is from pTX to pT4. Node classification is from cNX to cN3 for clinical node, from pNX to pN3 for pathological node, and M0 to M1b for metastasis.

Following are the testicular cancer stages:

Stage 1 Testicular Cancer

Stage 1 testicular cancer is localized. The serum tumor marker levels are not done or are unavailable.

Stage 2 Testicular Cancer

The tumor has spread to nearby lymph nodes but not distant lymph nodes.

Stage 3 Testicular Cancer

Cancer invades distant lymph nodes and/or organs in the late stage of testicular cancer.


Cancer that occurs in the testicles is known as testicular cancer. Different types of testicular cancers are germ cell tumors, Sertoli cell tumors, and Leydig cell tumors. Germ cell testicular cancer is the most common type of testicular cancer. The other cells rarely affected by cancer are Sertoli cells and Leydig cells. Stage 3 is the most advanced stage of testicular carcinoma.

Frequently Asked Questions

Germ cell testicular cancer is the most common type of testicular tumor or cancer.

Seminoma testicular cancer is slow-growing, while non-seminoma is a rapidly progressing form of testicular cancer. Seminomas usually occur during the 40s and 50s, while non-seminomas occur during the 20s and 30s.

The three types of seminomas include spermatocytic, classical, and seminoma with syncytiocytotrophoblastic cells.

Testicular cancer usually develops in males between the ages of 15 and 45.

The most advanced stage of testicular carcinoma is stage 3. Treating stage 3 testicular cancer is more difficult than stages 1 and 2. There is no stage four testicular tumor.