Testicular Cancer and Infertility Link
Study Shows Higher Odds of Testicular Cancer in Infertile Men
Nov. 18, 2005 -- Infertile men may want to consider getting screened for
testicular cancer, a new study shows.
"Infertile men with abnormal semen analyses have a 20-fold greater
incidence of testicular cancer compared to the general population,"
researchers write in The Journal of Urology.
"Patients and physicians should be aware that one of the causes of
infertility could be cancer, particularly testicular cancer," they
The vast majority of infertile men studied didn't have testicular cancer.
Testicular cancer is rare and often curable -- especially in its early
Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer among men aged 15-35,
the researchers note. They add that U.S. cases have increased in the last 25
Standard Screening for Infertile Men
"Screening for testicular cancer could now become a standard part of all
male infertility treatment," researcher Marc Goldstein, MD, FACS, says in a
"Examination of all infertile men by a urologist may be justified,"
Goldstein is surgeon-in-chief of male reproductive medicine and surgery at
New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He's also a
professor of reproductive medicine and urology at Cornell University's Weill
Male Infertility, Testicular Cancer Study
Goldstein and colleagues reviewed the medical records of more than 3,800
infertile men seen over a decade by a New York urologist.
All of the men had low sperm counts and/or other problems with their sperm,
such as poor motility (motion) or morphology (shape).
A total of 10 men had testicular cancer. That's about 20 times higher than
what would be expected in the general public, the researchers note.
Two of the men had a history of undescended testicle(s), a testicular cancer
risk factor. Taking that into account didn't change the results much.
The researchers acknowledge that they studied a "highly selected group
of men." Still, they don't note any reasons for infertile men to avoid
testicular cancer screening.