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Am I At Risk for Testicular Cancer?

Three generations of males at a gathering
Men who have a family history of testicular cancer may be at higher risk for getting the disease.

Certain factors can make one man more likely to get testicular cancer than another man. These are called risk factors.

Just because a man has one or more risk factors does not mean he will get testicular cancer. In fact, a man can have many risk factors and still not get it. Or a man can have no risk factors and still get testicular cancer. Many men with testicular cancer have few or no known risk factors.

If you agree with any of the bolded statements below, you are at an increased risk for testicular cancer. Work with your doctor to learn what you can do to help protect yourself.

I have had an undescended testicle

Having an undescended testicle is one of the main risk factors for testicular cancer. This is called cryptorchidism.

In a developing fetus, the testicles grow inside the abdomen. Before birth they move into the scrotum through a canal in the groin. Sometimes, the testicles do not descend. Instead they get stuck in the groin area. Less often, they stay in the abdomen. This happens in about 3 percent of boys.

The risk is higher for those men whose testicles remained in the abdomen, as opposed to those whose testicles have descended at least partly.

I have had cancer in my other testicle

If you have had cancer in one testicle, you are slightly more likely to get it in the other testicle. About 3 to 4 percent of men who have had cancer in one testicle will get it in the other testicle.

I have a family history of testicular cancer

Men who have a family history of testicular cancer may be more likely to get the disease. This usually happens in brothers. It is important to know that only a small number of cases have a family history.

I am white

White American men have a higher risk of testicular cancer than American men who are black or of Hispanic or Asian descent.

I have HIV

Men with HIV and AIDS may have an increased risk of getting testicular cancer.

I am between the ages of 20 and 34

Although testicular cancer can affect males of any age, about half of all cases occur in men in this age group.


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