The cause of this tumor is unknown. There are no known risk factors for getting this tumor. Unlike germ cell tumors of the testicles, this tumor does not seem to be linked to undescended testes.
Leydig cell tumors make up a very small number of all testicular tumors. They are most often found in men between the ages of 20 and 60. This tumor is not common in children before puberty, but it may cause early puberty.
There may be no symptoms.
When symptoms do occur, they can include:
Symptoms in other parts of the body, such as the lungs, abdomen, pelvis, back, or brain may also occur if the cancer has spread.
A physical examination typically reveals a firm lump in one of the testicles. When the health care provider holds a flashlight up to the scrotum, the light does not pass through the lump.
Other tests include:
An examination of the tissue is usually done after the entire testicle is surgically removed (orchiectomy).
Treatment of a Leydig cell tumor depends on its stage.
Surgery is done to remove the testicle (orchiectomy). Nearby lymph nodes may also be removed (lymphadenectomy).
Chemotherapy may be used to treat this type of tumor. Because Leydig cell tumors are rare, these treatments have not been studied as much as treatments for other, more common testicular cancers.
Joining a support group where members share common experiences and problems can often help ease the stress of illness.
Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable and curable cancers.
Testicular cancer may spread to other parts of the body. The most common sites include the:
Complications of surgery can include:
If you are of childbearing age, ask your doctor about methods to save your sperm for use at a later date.
Call your health care provider if you have symptoms of testicular cancer.
Performing testicular self-examination (TSE) each month may help detect testicular cancer at an early stage, before it spreads. Finding testicular cancer early is important to successful treatment and survival.
Tumor - Leydig cell; Testicular tumor
Friedlander TW, Ryan CJ, Small EJ, Torti F. Testicular cancer. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Doroshow JH, et al., eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2013:chap 86.
National Cancer Institute: PDQ Testicular Cancer Treatment. Bethesda, MD: National Cancer Institute. Date last modified 04/02/2014. Available at http://cancer.gov/cancertopics/pdq/treatment/testicular/HealthProfessional. Accessed May 29, 2014.
National Comprehensive Cancer Network. NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines): Testicular cancer. Version 1.2014. Available at http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/pdf/testicular.pdf. Accessed May 29, 2014.
Updated by: Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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