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Unusual Cancers of the Reproductive and Urinary Systems

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    Prognosis

    In children, bladder cancer is usually low grade (not likely to spread) and the prognosis is usually good following surgery to remove the tumor.

    Treatment

    Treatment for bladder cancer in children is usually transurethral resection (TUR). This is a surgical procedure to remove tissue from the bladder using a resectoscope inserted into the bladder through the urethra. A resectoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light, a lens for viewing, and a tool to remove tissue and burn away any remaining tumor cells. Tissue samples are checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.

    See the PDQ summary on adult Bladder Cancer Treatment for more information.

    Testicular Cancer

    Testicular cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of one or both testicles. The testicles are 2 egg-shaped glands located inside the scrotum (a sac of loose skin that lies directly below the penis). The testicles are held within the scrotum by the spermatic cord, which also contains the vas deferens and vessels and nerves of the testicles.

    cdr0000450023.jpg
    Anatomy of the male reproductive and urinary systems, showing the prostate, testicles, bladder, and other organs.

    There are two types of testicular tumors:

    • Germ cell tumors: Tumors that start in sperm cells in males. Testicular germ cell tumors may be benign (not cancer) or malignant (cancer). The most common testicular germ cell tumors in young boys are benign teratomas and malignant nonseminomas. Seminomas usually occur in young men and are rare in boys.
    • Non-germ cell tumors: Tumors that begin in the tissues that surround and support the testicles. These tumors may be benign or malignant.

    Symptoms and Diagnostic and Staging Tests

    A testicular tumor may cause a painless lump in the testicles. Other conditions may also cause a lump in the testicles.

    Tests to diagnose and stage non-germ cell testicular cancer may include the following:

    • Physical exam and history.
    • CT scan.
    • Ultrasound.
    • Biopsy.

    See the General Information section for a description of these tests and procedures.

    Treatment

    Treatment for non-germ cell testicular cancer in children may be surgery.

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