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What Causes Testicular Cancer?

It may not be possible to avoid risk factors for testicular cancer. The best plan is to catch it early. Men with the highest risk are:

  • Men with a father or brother who had testicular cancer
  • Men with a history of testes that don’t drop before birth (also known as undescended testes or cryptorchidism)
  • Abnormal cells in the testicle called germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS), most often found during an infertility test

If you fall into any of these categories, do a testicular self-exam each month. The self-exam may help you catch problems early, when treatment is easier.

By itself, microlithiasis (small calcifications in the testicle) is not a risk factor for testicular cancer.

More about Undescended Testes

Men with a history of undescended testicles (cryptorchidism)   are more likely to develop a tumor than other men. This means that a testicle did not drop from the abdomen into the scrotum before birth. (The abdomen is where the testes form in fetal development.) Surgery can repair this issue, but testicular cancer may still develop in about 8 out of 100 patients.