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The testicles contain several types of cells, and each type of cell can develop into different types of cancer. The most common type of testicular cancer (that represents more than 95 percent of all testicle cancers cases) is germ cell tumor or germinal tumor. This type of cancer develops within the germ cells. The germ cells are reproductive body cells which produce sperm in men. Sperm production begins with puberty. The germ cells within the testes produce immature sperm which travel through a network a tubes (called collecting tubes) into the epididymis (the tube within the testicles where collecting tubes join together), where it matures and is stored.
There is another type of testicular cancer, called stromal cell tumor, which represents only 3 to 4 percent of all testicular cancers and 20 percent of childhood testicular tumors. This type pf cancer develops within the testicles supportive tissues (called stroma).
The stromal cell tumors are a type of tumor made up of Leydig cells (testis cells that produce testosterone), Sertoli cells (the cells where sperm matures), and granulose cells. Sometimes, these tumors secret a hormone called estradiol, which can cause an excessive development of breast tissue - gynecomastia (a testicular cancer symptom).
Article by Alina Morrow, MS
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