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Testicular Cancer

Testicular Cancer: Risk Factors and Things You Can Change

Certain factors put men at a higher chance for testicular cancer:

Undescended testicles (cryptorchidism):

HIV infection: Increases the risk of testicular cancer, especially as patients progress further into AIDS.

Family history: Risk increases with family history of testicular cancer, especially in father or brother.

Infertility: Increases the risk of testicular cancer by 2.8 times as much as the general population.

Personal history of testicular cancer: Increases the risk of cancer in the other testicle.

Age: Most testicular cancers occur in males who are between their teens and up to forty years of age.

Race: Testicular cancer is more common in Caucasians.

In general, risk factors for cancer are sorted into things you can change and things you can’t. People can change some risk factors through education and new habits.  Other risk factors, like age, cannot be altered.

There are no clear risk factors you can change that increase the risk of testicular cancer; however, overall health and quality of life can be increased with good diet, regular exercise, plenty of rest, safe sexual practices, and regular testicular exams.

Risk factors you cannot change, such as race, age, family history, and history of undescended testis cannot be altered.  Knowledge about these risk factors can empower an individual to make sound decisions and to be vigilant of any changes.  Early detection of testicular cancer has extremely favorable outcomes.

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Last Reviewed: May 12, 2015

Associate Professor of Urology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University