Causes and risk factors of testicular cancer
The exact cause of testicular cancer is not known. Certain things called risk factors may increase the chance of developing it.
Men who had an undescended testicle as a child have a higher chance of getting testicular cancer. The risk may be higher if they did not have surgery, which is usually done before the age of 2.
The testicles develop inside the tummy (abdomen) of an unborn baby. Usually, they drop down (descend) into the scrotum at birth, or within the first year. Sometimes this doesn’t happen so the child has surgery to bring the testicle into the scrotum.
Having surgery to bring down the testicle means men can regularly check their testicles and notice any changes early.
Men with a brother or father who have had testicular cancer have a slightly higher risk of getting it. Researchers have found that this is partly due to changes in certain genes. Research continues to look at what genes may increase the risk.
Carcinoma in situ (CIS) are abnormal cells in the testicle that can develop into testicular cancer if they are not removed.
CIS is sometimes found when men have a biopsy of the testicle. For example, you may have a biopsy to investigate infertility (being unable to have children).
Treatment for CIS may include:
- or surgery.
The treatment you may have depends on what certain blood tests show.
There is no evidence to suggest that injury to a testicle increases your risk of getting cancer. But an injury to a testicle or to the groin may bring a testicular cancer to your doctor’s attention.
Having a vasectomy does not increase the risk of getting testicular cancer.