What is Testicular Cancer Caused By?

Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer occurs when abnormal cells in one or both testicles begin to grow uncontrollably. The exact cause of testicular cancer is not fully understood, but several risk factors have been identified:

  • Abnormal testicular development: Certain conditions affecting testicular development, such as undescended testicles (cryptorchidism), increase the risk of testicular cancer. In undescended testicles, the testes do not properly descend into the scrotum during fetal development, which may increase the likelihood of cancer development later in life.
  • Genetic factors: Family history and genetic predisposition play a role in testicular cancer risk. Men with a family history of testicular cancer, particularly in a father or brother, have an increased risk of developing the disease. Additionally, certain genetic conditions, such as Klinefelter syndrome, may increase the risk of testicular cancer.
  • Personal history of testicular cancer: Men who have had testicular cancer in one testicle have an increased risk of developing cancer in the other testicle.
  • Age: Testicular cancer is most commonly diagnosed in young and middle-aged men, with the highest incidence occurring between the ages of 15 and 35. However, it can occur at any age.
  • Race and ethnicity: Testicular cancer is more common in Caucasian men compared to men of other racial or ethnic groups.
  • Testicular abnormalities: Certain testicular conditions or abnormalities, such as testicular intraepithelial neoplasia (TIN) or carcinoma in situ (CIS), increase the risk of developing invasive testicular cancer.
  • Environmental exposures: Some studies suggest that exposure to environmental factors such as pesticides, chemicals, or endocrine-disrupting compounds may increase the risk of testicular cancer. However, the evidence is limited and further research is needed to establish clear associations.

It’s important to note that the majority of men with testicular cancer do not have any identifiable risk factors, and the disease can occur in individuals without any known predisposing factors. Regular testicular self-exams and prompt medical evaluation of any unusual changes or symptoms in the testicles are important for early detection and treatment of testicular cancer. Early-stage testicular cancer is highly curable, especially when diagnosed and treated promptly. Treatment typically involves surgery to remove the affected testicle (orchiectomy), followed by additional therapies such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy, or surveillance, depending on the stage and type of cancer.

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