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What is Testicular Cancer in Children?

In children with testicular cancer, cancerous cells are found in the tissues of one or both testicles. Testicular tumors in children are rare, most likely treatable and most often curable.

The Testicles

Male Reproductive Organs
Male Reproductive System
Medical Illustration Copyright © 2015 Nucleus Medical Media,

The testicles (also known as testes or testis) are part of the male reproductive system. These 2 golf ball size glands are held in a sac (scrotum) below the penis. But up to 3 of every 100 full-term male children may be born with an undescended testicle (cryptorchidism). In these children 1 or both testicles have not dropped down into the scrotum from the abdomen.

The testicles make male hormones such as testosterone. This hormone controls the sex drive in men. It also triggers the development of male traits. The testicles are where sperm (male reproductive cells) mature before being delivered to the vas deferens and ejaculated. The firmness of the testicle should be the same throughout. The size of the testicles should also be about the same.

Rate of Testicular Cancer in Children

There are 2 peak ages when testicular tumors grow in children:

  • early boyhood
  • teen years

Testicular tumors rarely happen in boys before puberty. The odds of a boy having a testicular tumor are about 1 in 100,000. In infants and boys, testicular tumors make up about 1 to 2% of all tumors. On the other hand, testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men 15 to 34 years old.