What increases my risk of testicular cancer?

Doctor explaining something to a male patient

These risk factors can increase your chance of developing testicular cancer: 

  • Undescended testicle: Testicular cancer is more common in men who were born with a testicle that did not come down into the scrotum before they were born. Having an operation to fix the testicle down in the scrotum at a young age can help to reduce the risk again.
  • Previous history of testicular cancer: You are slightly more at risk of getting testicular cancer in your other testicle if you’ve had testicular cancer.
  • Family history of testicular cancer: You are more at risk if your father or brother had the disease. However, only about 1-2% of testicular cancers are thought to be related to family history.
  • Fertility problems: If you have fertility problems, you have a slightly increased risk of testicular cancer. A vasectomy does not increase your risk of developing testicular cancer.
  • Ethnic group: If you’re white skinned you have a higher chance of getting testicular cancer than African-Caribbean or Asian men. 

Does getting hit in the testicle give you cancer?

There is no evidence that injury to your testicle causes cancer. If you get a knock to your testicle you may feel the area and notice a change in your testicle which you wouldn’t have otherwise noticed. So it may be that the knock helps people notice testicular cancer because they become more aware of their testicle because of the pain.

Having a risk factor doesn’t mean you will definitely get cancer. Sometimes people with no risk factors get the disease. If you’re worried, talk to your GP or talk to one of our cancer nurses. Call the Cancer Nurseline on 1800 200 700 or visit a Daffodil Centre.

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