Infertile men should consider getting testicular cancer screening. According to a study published in The Journal of Urology, men with fertility problems are more likely to have cancer of the testicles than normal males, especially if they have a low sperm count. Getting a timely testicular exam is critical since early diagnosis means a better prognosis for this common form of male cancer.
Causes of Male Infertility: Cancer of the Testicles?
Cancer of the testicles isn’t rare. In fact, it’s the most common form of cancer diagnosed in men under the age of thirty-five – and the rates of testicular cancer has increased more than two-fold in the last forty years. Some experts attribute this increase to the number of pollutants and toxins men are exposed to that mimic the effects of estrogen.
When researchers looked at the medical charts of 3,800 men with fertility problems and compared their rate of cancer of the testicles to that of the general population, they found the infertile men were twenty times more likely to have cancer of the testicles. So compelling were these results that many experts now recommend that infertile men undergo testicular cancer screening. Better to be safe than sorry when it comes to the health of your reproductive organs.
Testicular Exam: Other Signs and Symptoms of Cancer of the Testicles
Any asymmetry in the size, shape and texture of the testicles is suspicious. Other symptoms of testicular cancer are a “heavy’ or aching sensation in the scrotal area. Testicular cancer may be completely painless, so pain shouldn’t be used as an indicator. Rarely, tumors of the testicles produce hormones that affect other parts of the body, which can lead to enlargement or tenderness of the breasts. Men who have a history of an undescended testicle are also at higher risk for cancer of the testicles.
Infertile Men and Testicular Cancer Screening: The Bottom Line?
It’s important that all males have a regular testicular exam, but infertile men need more frequent monitoring. Men with fertility issues and any man with a low sperm count should get prompt evaluation of their testicles. A testicular exam in an urologist’s office may be all that’s needed to rule out this common form of cancer.
WebMD. “Testicular Cancer and Infertility Link”
National Cancer Institute. “Testicular Cancer: Questions and Answers”