Paulo Bandeira Pinho, MD, FAAP

Text Box: Testicular cancer screening

Testicular Cancer Screening

The testicles are male sex glands involved in the production of sperm. They are located behind the penis in a pouch of skin called the scrotum. The testicles are the body's main source of male hormones.

Risk of testicular cancer

Testicular cancer is rare. Despite a slow increase in the number of new cases, the number of deaths due to testicular cancer has decreased dramatically since the 1960s as a result of treatment improvements.

Anything that increases a person's chance of developing a disease is called a risk factor. Some risk factors for testicular cancer are as follows:

Age: Young men have a higher risk of testicular cancer. In men, testicular cancer is the most common cancer between the ages of 20 to 34, the second most common cancer between the ages of 35 to 39, and the third most common cancer between the ages of 15 to 19.

Family History: Men with a family history of testicular cancer may have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer.

Hereditary Conditions: Men born with gonadal dysgenesis or Klinefelter's syndrome have a greater risk of developing testicular cancer.

Personal History: Men with undescended testicles have a higher-than-average risk of developing testicular cancer. Men who have already had testicular cancer have a higher risk of developing a tumor in the other testicle.

Race: Testicular cancer is more common among white men than black men. Hispanic, American Indian, and Asian men develop testicular cancer at a higher rate than black men, but less than white men.

Screening tests for testicular cancer

Most testicular cancers are first detected by the patient, either unintentionally or by self-examination. Some are discovered by routine physical examination. However, no studies have been done to determine whether self-examination or examination during routine physicals can help reduce the number of deaths caused by testicular cancer.

Information from Association of Cancer Online Resources