Patients & Visitors

Urology

D11

Types of testicular cancer

The different types of testicular cancer are classified by what type of cells the cancer first begins in.

The most common type of testicular cancer is known as ‘germ cell testicular cancer’, accounting for around 95% of all cases. Germ cells are a type of cell that the body uses to help create sperm.

There are two main subtypes of germ cell testicular cancer. They are:

  • seminomas, which account for 40% of all cases of testicular cancer
  • non-seminomas (non-seminomatous germ cell tumours or NSGCTs), account for the remaining 60% of cases of testicular cancer

In practical terms, the only important difference between the two subtypes is that they respond to different types of chemotherapy and that seminomas respond better to radiotherapy.

Less common types of testicular cancer include:

  • Leydig cell tumours, which account for around 1-3% of cases
  • Sertoli cell tumours, which account for around 1% of cases

The information on our site concentrates on germ cell tumours.

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