Although the exact
of testicular cancer is no known for certain, there are several
risk factors that can increase the risk of getting testicular cancer.
- Cryptorchidism. Cryptorchidism occurs when the testicles do
not descend from the abdomen to the scrotum before
birth. Cryptorchidism increases the risk of developing testicular
cancer by a factor of 10-20, even if the condition is corrected by
- Diethyl-Stilbesterol (DES) exposure in utero. From 1938
to 1971, DES was given to pregnant women to help prevent
miscarriage. It was banned for such use by the FDA in 1972, when it
was found to cause rare cervical and uterine cancers in female
offspring and was also implicated in breast cancer in the mother.
- Personal History of Testicular Cancer. Testicular cancer
does not spread from one testicle to the other, as there is no direct
connection between the testicles, so it is rare for testicular cancer
to affect both testicles simultaneously. Nevertheless, men who have
had testicular cancer in one testicle are more likely to develop it in
the other testicle later.
- Age. Testicular cancer is most common among men between
the ages of 15 and 44, but it can occur at any age.
- Family History. If your father or brother has had
testicular cancer, you are at greater risk of developing testicular
cancer. Approximately 10% of testicular cancers appear to be
genetically linked. It is believed that the genes do not cause
testicular cancer, but rather make the man more susceptible to it.
- Race. White men are much more likely to develop
testicular cancer, with testicular cancer occuring in white men about
4-5 times more frequently than in black men and about 2 times more
frequently than in asian-american men. Incidence rates for white
men have doubled in the last 30 years, but remained about the same for
- Occupation. Certain occupations (miners,
oil or gas workers, janitors, leather workers, food and beverage
workers, or workers involved in the manufacturing or application of
pesticides) increase the risk of testicular cancer.
- Klinefelter's Syndrome. Men with Klinefelter's Syndrome
have an extra X chromosome, leading to lower levels of male
hormones. This can cause sterility, abnormal testicular development, and
breast enlargement. It also increases the risk of developing
germ cell tumors originating in the chest.
- HIV infection. Men with HIV have a slightly higher risk
of developing testicular cancer.
Studies have shown that a vasectomy and the use of electric blankets
does not increase the risk of testicular cancer.
Home | What is Testicular Cancer? | Risk Factors | Detection | Diagnosis | Staging | Treatment
Causes | Checklist | Costs | Cancer Jokes | Cancer Scholarships | Sites