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Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer

A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.

It is possible to develop testicular cancer with or without the risk factors listed below. However, the more risk factors you have, the greater your likelihood of developing testicular cancer. If you have a number of risk factors, ask your doctor what you can do to reduce your risk.

The most common risk factors, gender and age, cannot be changed. While testicular cancer is more common in men between the ages of 20-35 years old, it can occur in older men. Generally, risk decreases with age.

Other factors that may increase the chances of testicular cancer include:

  • Medical history:
    • Undescended testes—The testicles normally migrate from the abdomen to the scrotum before birth. Sometimes, boys are born with testicles that are still in the abdomen. This can be fixed with surgery.
    • Personal history of testicular cancer
    • HIV infection
  • Family history—Risk may be higher if testicular cancer involves a first-degree relative like a father or brother.
  • Genetic disorders:
  • Ethnicity—Testicular cancer is more common in Caucasian men who live in the US and Europe.
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References:

General information about testicular cancer. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: https://www.cancer.gov/types/testicular/patient/testicular-treatment-pdq#link/_1. Updated July 7, 2016. Accessed September 14, 2017.
Testicular cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T907377/Testicular-cancer. Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed September 14, 2017.
What are the risk factors for testicular cancer? American Cancer Society website. Available at: https://www.cancer.org/cancer/testicular-cancer/causes-risks-prevention/risk-factors.html. Updated February 12, 2016. Accessed September 14, 2017.
What causes testicular cancer? Urology Care Foundation website. Available at:
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Accessed September 14, 2017.
Last reviewed September 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Mohei Abouzied, MD, FACP
Last Updated: 9/14/2017

 

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