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- Testicular cancer accounts for 1% of all cancers in men; it is the most common solid malignancy in men aged 15 to 34 years (1).
- An estimated 8,850 new cases were diagnosed, and an estimated 410 deaths occurred in the United States in 2016 (2).
- Rates for new cases have been rising 0.8% each year over the last 10 years, but death rates have been stable.
- The median age at diagnosis is 33 years. The median age at death is 41 years.
- Treatment produces an overall 5-year survival of 95.1%; for African American patients, this 5-year survival rate is alarmingly lower but has improved from 86% to 90% (2).
Etiology and Pathophysiology
95% of all malignant tumors arising in the testes are germ cell tumors (GCTs), which are subclassified as follows:
- Seminomatous GCTs: most common type overall
- Nonseminomatous GCTs (NSGCTs): These include embryonal cell carcinoma, choriocarcinoma, yolk sac tumor, teratomas, or often multiple cell types; these are more clinically aggressive tumors.
- Cryptorchidism is the most firmly established risk factor: Relative risk of testicular cancer in all patients with cryptorchidism is 3 to 8, with a lower relative risk of 2 to 3 in those undergoing orchiopexy by age 12 years; in patients with unilateral cryptorchidism, the relative risk of testicular cancer in the contralateral normally descended testis is negligible (3).
- Personal history of testicular cancer
- Use of muscle building supplements
- Positive family history for testicular cancer
- Testicular dysgenesis
- Klinefelter syndrome
- Caucasian race
- HIV infections
No evidence that screening for testicular cancer is effective (4)