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The Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program of BC

For Patients & Families

Testicular (Germ Cell) Tumours (GCT)

What are Testicular (Germ Cell) Tumours?

Germ cell tumours almost always occur in men and usually originate in the testicle as a painless mass or lump. These tumours may be subdivided into "seminomatous" and "non-seminomatous". Seminomatous tumours are primarily treated with surgical removal and radiation. Non-seminomatous tumours are frequently treated with multi-drug chemotherapy.

Seminomas are localised to the testicle or lymph glands of the abdomen in 95% of cases. The vast majority of these patients can be cured with radiation therapy alone. For the uncommon case of advanced stage seminoma, chemotherapy can cure 80% of patients.

Non-seminomatous tumours are much less frequently localised to the testicle (1/3 of cases) and therefore chemotherapy is required in the majority of patients.


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