Testicular Cancer Symptoms and Signs

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Cancer of the testicles (testicular cancer) is an uncommon condition that accounts for only about 1% of all cancers in men. Each year, approximately 8,000 new cases of testicular cancer will occur in the U.S., leading to approximately 360 deaths.

Doctors do not know the exact cause of testicular cancer, but a number of risk factors for development of this disease have been identified. Young men between the ages of 15 and 39 are most often affected. White men are affected more than men of other races, although the disease can occur in men of any age and race, including children. Men who have an undescended testicle (termed cryptorchidism), even if surgery has been performed to remedy the condition, have an increased risk for the development of testicular cancer. Other risk factors include the genetic condition known as Klinefelter's syndrome, abnormal development of the testicles, and having relatives with testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer is highly curable when detected early, and 95% of patients with testicular cancer are alive after a five-year period. However, about half of men with testicular cancer do not seek treatment until the cancer has spread beyond the testicles to other locations in the body (as in the case of seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong).