What are the risk factors for testicular cancer?


A risk factor is any factor that is associated with an increased chance of developing a particular health condition, such as testicular cancer. Some risk factors are modifiable, such as lifestyle or environmental risk factors. Others cannot be modified, such as inherited factors or whether someone in the family has had cancer. 

Having one or more risk factors does not mean that you will develop cancer. Many people have at least one risk factor but will never develop cancer, while others with cancer may have had no known risk factors. Even if a person with cancer has a risk factor, it is usually hard to know how much that risk factor contributed to the development of their disease. 

Although the causes of testicular cancer are not fully understood, there are several factors associated with the risk of developing the disease. These factors include having:[2] 

  • an undescended testicle as an infant 
  • a family history of testicular cancer 
  • abnormal development of the testicles  
  • hypospadia, which is an abnormality of the penis 
  • a previous diagnosis of testicular cancer 
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) caused by HIV  
  • infertility. 

If you have any of these risk factors or are concerned about your risk for testicular cancer, please see your doctor.