• Reducing Your Risk of Testicular Cancer

    There are no specific guidelines to prevent testicular cancer because the cause is unknown. Although testicular cancer can affect men at any age, it is most common in those under 35 years old. Some risk factors such as family history or genetics cannot be changed. Fortunately, there are also risk factors which can be modified. These include:
    • Treating medical conditions—If you have a chronic condition, be sure to follow your treatment plan. Some conditions that increase your risk of testicular cancer include Klinefelter syndrome and HIV infection. The most common risk factor, undescended testes, can be surgically corrected to reduce your risk.
    • Occupational or environmental exposures—People who work in different jobs may come into contact with chemicals that are known to be harmful such as in agriculture, firefighting, or military careers. Take steps to protect yourself from exposure. Check with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health or the Environmental Protection Agency about any available protective guidelines.
    • Quitting smokingSmoking negatively affects every cell in the body. Quitting smoking is an important step in preventing cancer. The sooner smoking is stopped, the sooner the body can start to heal. Talk to your doctor about the options available to help you successfully quit.
    • Avoiding drugs—Marijuana use is associated with an increased risk. Although no direct connection has been found, avoiding marijuana and other drugs may help reduce your risk.

    References

    Gurney J, Shaw C, Stanley J, Signal V, Sarfati D. Cannabis exposure and risk of testicular cancer: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMJ 2015;15:897.

    Marijuana linked with testicular cancer. National Institute on Drug Abuse website. Available at: https://www.drugabuse.gov/news-events/nida-notes/2010/12/marijuana-linked-testicular-cancer. Updated December 2010. Accessed September 11, 2017.

    Testicular cancer. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at: http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T907377/Testicular-cancer. Updated May 31, 2017. Accessed September 11, 2017.

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