A Leydig cell tumor is a tumor of the testicle. It develops from Leydig cells. These are the cells in the testicles that release the male hormone, testosterone.
Tumor - Leydig cell; Testicular tumor - Leydig
The cause of this tumor is unknown. There are no known risk factors for 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 30 and 60 years of age. 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.
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 tumor. As 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. Outlook is worse if the tumor is not found early.
The 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 provider about methods to save your sperm for use at a later date.
Call your 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 for successful treatment and survival.
Friedlander TW, Small E. Testicular cancer. In: Niederhuber JE, Armitage JO, Kastan MB, Doroshow JH, Tepper JE, eds. Abeloff's Clinical Oncology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 83.
National Cancer Institute website. Testicular cancer treatment (PDQ) – health professional version. www.cancer.gov/types/testicular/hp/testicular-treatment-pdq. Updated May 21, 2020. Accessed July 21, 2020.
Stephenson AJ, Gilligan TD. Neoplasms of the testis. In: Partin AW, Dmochowski RR, Kavoussi LR, Peters CA, eds. Campbell-Walsh-Wein Urology. 12th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 76.