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Disease Information

Risk Factors

Your health history can have an impact on your likelihood of developing testicular cancer. While risk factors may increase your chances of getting a disease, their presence doesn't guarantee that it will happen (and, conversely, their absence doesn't guarantee that it won't).

There are several risk factors for testicular cancer. If you believe that you may be at risk, it's always best to speak to your doctor about it. 

The following risk factors should be considered while you try to determine your likelihood of developing testicular cancer:

  • Having an undescended testicle (or having had one in the past)

  • Family or personal history of testicular cancer

  • Being caucasian

  • Having had abnormal development of the testicles in some way

Less common risk factors, but risk factors nonetheless, include:

  • HIV

  • Carcinoma inside of the testicle

  • Body size

    • Some studies have indicated that taller men may have a somewhat higher risk of testicular cancer; some studies have not

    • Most studies have not found a link between testicular cancer and body weight

Most known risk factors for testicular cancer can't be changed. Because of this, there's no surefire way to guarantee prevention of testicular cancer. However, boys who experience cryptorchidism (an undescended testicle) in their youth should be treated for the condition. This can lower the likelihood of developing testicular cancer later in life.