Epidemiology of testicular cancer: an overview

Int J Cancer. 2005 Sep 1;116(3):331-9. doi: 10.1002/ijc.21032.


Testicular cancer is a rare disease, accounting for 1.1% of all malignant neoplasms in Canadian males. Despite the low overall incidence of testicular cancer, it is the most common malignancy among young men. The incidence rate of testicular cancer has been increasing since the middle of the 20th century in many western countries. However, the etiology of testicular cancer is not well understood. A search of the peer-reviewed literature was conducted to identify important articles for review and inclusion in this overview of the epidemiology of testicular cancer. Most of the established risk factors are related to early life events, including cryptorchidism, carcinoma in situ and in utero exposure to estrogens. Occupational, lifestyle, socioeconomic and other risk factors have demonstrated mixed associations with testicular cancer. Although there are few established risk factors for testicular cancer, some appear to be related to hormonal balance at various life stages. Lifestyle and occupational exposures occurring later in life may play a role in promoting the disease, although they are not likely involved in cancer initiation. In addition to summarizing the current epidemiologic evidence on risk factors for testicular cancer, we suggest future research directions that may elucidate the etiology of testicular cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Cryptorchidism / complications
  • Estrogens / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Life Style*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Occupational Exposure*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects
  • Risk Factors
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / etiology*


  • Estrogens