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Cancer of the Testicle (cont.)

Testicular Cancer Causes

It is not known exactly what causes testicular cancers. Certain factors, listed here, appear to increase a man's risk of developing a testicular cancer. Many others have been proposed, but are either unproven or discredited.

Cryptorchidism: The testicles form in the abdomen of the developing fetus. While the fetus is still in the womb, the testicles begin their gradual descent to the scrotum. Oftentimes, this descent is not complete at birth but occurs during the first year of life. Failure of the testicle to appropriately descend into the scrotum is called undescended testicle, or cryptorchidism.

  • It can occur on one or both sides.
  • If the testicles do not fully descend, the infant usually undergoes surgery to bring the testicle(s) into the scrotum.
  • The risk for testicular cancer is three to five times higher in males born with cryptorchidism, even after surgery to bring the testicle(s) into the scrotum.
  • Because of this increased risk, men with this type of condition should be even more rigorous about performing regular testicular self-exams.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/11/2014
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