Males in early adulthood are at the highest risk of testicular cancer, but many factors can influence your individual risk level.

Testicular cancer is a relatively rare cancer that develops in the testicles. It causes symptoms such as a lump on the affected testicle and a feeling of pressure or heaviness in the lower stomach.

Depending on your age, family history, and other factors, your risk of testicular cancer may vary.

Testicular cancer isn’t a common cancer. Just over 9,000 people in the United States are expected to receive diagnoses of this type of cancer in 2023.

That’s about 0.5% of all anticipated cancer diagnoses in the United States. Statistics show that in the United States, about 1 in every 250 males will receive diagnoses within their lifetimes. By comparison, prostate cancer is diagnosed in about 1 in 8 males in the United States.

You can receive a diagnosis of testicular cancer at any age. But testicular cancer primarily develops in early adulthood, between the ages of 20 and 34. The average age of diagnosis for testicular cancer is 33.

You can see the percentage of cases diagnosed across age groups below:

AgePercent of cases
Below 20 5.3%
20–34 51.8%
65–74 1.9%
75–84 0.6%
84 and above 0.2%

Being between 21 and 34 increases the likelihood of receiving a diagnosis of testicular cancer, but it’s not the only risk factor. Several other factors can increase the chances of developing testicular cancer. These include:

  • Undescended testicles. Having undescended testicles, also called cryptorchidism, can raise the chances of testicular cancer. The risk is even higher if this condition goes untreated.
  • Germ cell neoplasia in situ (GCNIS). GCNIS means that there are abnormal cells in the testicle. These cells aren’t yet cancer, but they can develop into cancer. Treating GNIS can prevent cancer development.
  • A family history of testicular cancer. Having family members who’ve had testicular cancer may increase your chances of having this cancer. Having a father with testicular cancer could increase your likelihood about 4–5 times, while having a brother with testicular cancer may increase your likelihood about 8–9 times.
  • Any congenital anomalies of the penis or urethra. The risk of testicular cancer increases if you were born with an atypical penis or urethra.
  • Previous testicular cancer. If you previously had cancer in one testicle, there’s a higher chance of developing cancer in your other testicle.
  • HIV or AIDs. HIV and AIDs are linked to a higher risk of testicular cancer. However, most people who develop testicular cancer are not HIV positive.
  • Ethnicity. In the UK, the chances of developing testicular cancer are highest among white men.

There are no annual or singular screening tests for testicular cancer. Treatment outcomes are typically very good, with very high survival odds. But if you have multiple risk factors and are concerned about developing cancer, it can help to talk with your doctor. They can give you advice specific to your situation. For instance, they might recommend that you begin doing regular self-checks for testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer is an uncommon cancer that primarily develops in early adulthood.

The average age at diagnosis is 33. The risk is much lower for males under 20 and over 45. Additional risk factors of testicular cancer include family history, congenital anomalies of the penis and urethra, undescended testicles, previous testicular cancer, and the presence of abnormal cells in the testicle called GCNIS. Your ethnicity can also increase your likelihood.

This cancer is highly treatable. If you have multiple risk factors, talk with your doctor and ask whether they have any recommendations for testing or screening methods.