May 16th, 2013
The rate of Testicular Cancer Risk has been increasing over the past 40 years. Testicular cancer risk in white men is more prevalent than in black, Asian, or other nonwhite ethnic groups. While in the past men of any ethnicity with higher socioeconomic status and more education; the Testicular Cancer Risk difference has diminished over time.
Absence of one or both testes (Cryptorchidism) or undescended testicles are currently the most common testicular cancer risk factors. Other testicular cancer risk factors include prenatal exposure to estrogen, testicular abnormalities, and genetic disorders that affect sexual development, such as Kleinfelter’s Syndrome.
A risk factor is anything that changes your chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Just as having no risk factors doesn’t mean you won’t get the disease.
One of the main testicular cancer risk factors for testicular cancer is a condition called cryptorchidism, or undescended testicle(s). This means that one or both testicles fail to move into the scrotum before birth. Males with cryptorchidism are several times more likely to get testicular cancer than those with normally descended testicles.
A family history of testicular cancer increases the testicular cancer risk. If a man has the disease, there is an increased testicular cancer risk that one or more of his brothers or sons will also develop it. But only about 3% of testicular cancer cases are actually found to occur in families. Most men with testicular cancer do not have a family history of the disease.
This condition, does not produce a mass or cause any symptoms. It isn’t clear how often carcinoma in situ (CIS) in the testicles progresses to cancer. In some cases, CIS is found in men who have a testicular biopsy to evaluate infertility or have a testicle removed because of cryptorchidism.
A personal history of testicular cancer is another testicular cancer risk factor. About 3% or 4% of men who have been cured of cancer in one testicle will eventually develop cancer in the other testicle.
About 50% of testicular cancers occur in men between the ages of 20 and 34. But this cancer can affect males of any age, including infants and elderly men.
The testicular cancer risk among white men is about 5 times that of black men and more than 3 times that of Asian-American and American Indian men. The testicular cancer risk for Hispanics/Latinos falls between that of Asians and non-Hispanic/Latino whites. The reason for these differences is not known. Worldwide, the risk of developing this disease is highest among men living in the United States and Europe and lowest among men living in Africa or Asia.
Some studies have found that the testicular cancer risk is somewhat higher in tall men, but other studies have not.
*Source: American Cancer Society