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As stated above, the most common type of testis cancer is a germ cell tumor (GCT). There are two main types of GCT: Seminoma and Non-Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumors (NSGCT). Both seminoma and NSGCT occur at about the same rate and men can have seminoma, NSGCT or a combination of both. There are several differences between seminomas and NSGCT, but the initial distinction is based on how the tumor looks under the microscope.
Tend to grow and spread more slowly than NSGCT, although some seminomas can grow very rapidly. Subtypes of seminoma include:
Seminomas can secrete human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) but do not secrete other tumor markers (see the section on Tumor Markers for more details). If seminoma spreads from the testicle, it is most often and best treated with chemotherapy and/or radiation. Surgery can be performed in some cases.
Non-Seminomatous Germ Cell Tumors (NSGCT)
NSGCT are very variable in appearance and prognosis. There are four main types of NSGCT that can appear alone, but most often appear as a “mixed” NSGCT with more than one type present:
Tumors can also develop from the supportive tissues around the germ cells in the testicle. These tumors are rare, less than 5% of testis cancers, and have an excellent prognosis if surgically resected. There are two types of stromal tumors: