Screening for testicular cancer

Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Feb 16:(2):CD007853. doi: 10.1002/14651858.CD007853.pub2.


Background: Testicular cancer commonly affects men aged between 20 and 35 years. Screening for testicular cancer may reduce both morbidity and mortality, yet the effectiveness of any method is unknown. Equally, screening may also promote treatment procedures that are unwarranted or may adversely affect the health outcomes of the patient with no net benefit. Additionally, many organisations recommend against screening for testicular cancer due to the low incidence of testicular cancer and favourable outcomes in the absence of screening.

Objectives: The primary objective of this review is to determine whether screening for testicular cancer (physician or patient self-examination) reduces testicular cancer-specific mortality. The secondary objective of this review is to determine impact of screening for testicular cancer on quality of life and adverse outcomes.

Search strategy: Electronic searches were conducted across MEDLINE, CINAHL, the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL) and PsychINFO.

Selection criteria: All published randomised controlled trials (RCTs) of screening versus no screening for testicular cancer were eligible for inclusion in this review.

Data collection and analysis: The search identified 19 potentially relevant articles, which were selected for full text review. None of the articles that were reviewed were evaluated as eligible for inclusion in this review.

Main results: There are no published RCTs evaluating the effectiveness of screening for testicular cancer.

Authors' conclusions: Patients with increased clinical risk factors for testicular cancer, including a family history of testicular cancer, undescended testis (cryptorchidism) or testicular atrophy should be informed by their physicians of their potential increased risk of testicular cancer, along with potential benefits and harms associated with screening.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Male
  • Testicular Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / mortality