Testicular cancer occurs in approximately 1 in 25,000 men per year. It is 4 times less common in Afro-American men compared to Caucasian men. The risk of developing testicular cancer in a man's lifetime is approximately 1 in 500. It occurs most commonly between the ages of 15 and 40 years. It can also occur in infancy and late adulthood (over 60 years old). Individuals who have had an undescended testicle are at higher risk of developing testicular cancer.
To understand what Testicular Cancer is, you must understand what cancer itself is. The organs and tissues of the body are made up of tiny building blocks called cells. Cancer is a disease of these cells. Although cells in different parts of the body may look and work differently, most repair and reproduce themselves in the same way. Normally, this division of cells takes place in an orderly and controlled manner. If, for some reason, the process gets out of control, the cells will continue to divide, developing into a lump which is called a tumor. Tumors can be either benign or malignant. In a benign tumor the cells do not spread to other parts of the body and so are not cancerous. However, if they continue to grow at the original site, they may cause a problem by pressing on the surrounding organs. .
A malignant tumor consists of cancer cells which have the ability to spread beyond the original site. If the tumor is left untreated, it may invade and destroy surrounding tissue. Sometimes cells break away from the original primary cancer and spread to other organs in the body through the bloodstream or lymphatic system. Doctors can tell whether a tumour is benign or malignant by examining a small sample of cells under a microscope. This is called a biopsy. It is important to realise that cancer is not a single disease with a single cause and a single type of treatment. There are more than 200 different kinds of cancer, each with its own name and treatment.