Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer

A risk factor is something about you that increases your chance of getting a disease or having a certain health condition. Some risk factors for testicular cancer you cannot change, but some you can. Changing the risk factors that you have control over will help you live a longer, healthier life.

Risk factors do not mean that you will get the disease. Many people who have these risk factors do not develop the disease and many who develop the disease did not have any of these risk factors.

The risk factors for testicular cancer are:

  • Age — Testicular cancer is most common in men between the ages of 20 and 35.
  • Family history — Testicular cancer does run in some families. Men with a first-degree relative, such as a brother or father, diagnosed with the disease are more likely to get it themselves.
  • Personal history — Men who’ve had testicular cancer in one testicle are at an increased risk of developing cancer in the other testicle.
  • Race/ethnicity — Testicular cancer is more common in white men. It’s very rare in African American men.
  • Cryptorchidism (undescended testicle) — Men whose testicle didn’t descend are at an increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Surgery to correct this condition during the child’s first year of life may reduce the risk of testicular cancer.
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection — Men with the HIV virus are at slightly greater risk for developing seminoma tumors.
  • Klinefelter syndrome — Men with an additional X chromosome may have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer.



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