Increased Testicular Cancer Risk

According to a new study, boys whose testes have not descended into the scrotum at birth, may be nearly three times more likely to develop testicular cancer later in life.

Previous studies of the condition called cryptorchidism (undescended testes) have shown that in 5 to 10 percent of testicular cancer patients undescended testes were present.

However, it has remained unclear exactly how much a boy’s risk of testicular cancer is increased if he was born with undescended testes.

The new study was designed to answer that question and concluded that boys with undescended testes were 2.9 times more likely to develop testicular cancer.

About 6 percent of newborn boys are born with undescended testes.

Researchers must now consider whether this degree of increased cancer risk means that boys born with the condition should undergo heightened surveillance for testicular cancer in addition to current close followup.

The study was published in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood.