A risk factor is something that increases your likelihood of getting a disease or condition.
If you are a man, 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.
Risk factors for testicular cancer include the following:
You are at greatest risk between the ages of 20-35 years. Out of 100,000 men in this age group, 8-14 men will get testicular cancer. There is also a small increase in risk during early childhood.
Having one or more undescended testicles is a major risk factor for testicular cancer. The American Cancer Society, in its detailed guide to testicular cancer, states that about 14% of cases of testicular cancer occur in men with a history of undescended testicles.
It should be noted that surgical correction of the undescended testicle does not prevent a future cancerous tumor, but it does make it easier to detect.
Other medical conditions that can increase your risk of testicular cancer include:
Some data indicate that HIV infection may also increase the risk of testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer occurs five times more often in white men than in black men.
Being of a higher socioeconomic status also puts you at higher risk for testicular cancer.
Casciato DA. Manual of Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2004.
Cashen AF, Wildes TM. The Washington Manual of Hematology and Oncology Subspeciality Consult. 2nd ed. Philadelphia, PA: Wolter Kluwers Health; 2008.
Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center website. Available at: http://cpmcnet.columbia.edu/ . Accessed January 31, 2006.
Fauci AS, Braunwald E, Isselbacher KJ, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine . 14th ed. New York, NY: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2000.
Last reviewed September 2013 by Mohei Abouzied, MD
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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