The testicles, or testes, are the two egg-shaped male sex glands located in the scrotum. These glands produce and store sperm and are the main source of the hormone testosterone. Testicular cancer occurs when cells in one or both of the glands begin to grow erratically and become malignant. The rate of testicular cancer has doubled in American white men since the 1960s, although a reason has not been identified.
While testicular cancer can affect males of any age, it is most frequently diagnosed in young adults, ages 20 to 35 and is far less common among men over age 50. At this stage of your life, cancer is probably the last thing you expected. The good news is that testicular cancer is highly treatable — and often curable.
However, because this cancer and the treatments for it can impact fertility and sexual function, all men diagnosed with testicular cancer should talk to their physician about their options for preserving fertility, such as sperm banking, before beginning treatment. Roswell Park’s Onco-Fertility Program offers in-house fertility counseling to specifically address these needs.
Preserving fertility is a very important discussion in the cancer journey. Dr. Levine explains how many testicular cancer patients go on to have families after treatment.