The impact of age at orchiopexy on testicular cancer outcomes

World J Urol. 2020 Oct;38(10):2531-2536. doi: 10.1007/s00345-019-03034-9. Epub 2019 Nov 28.


Purpose: To estimate how many boys with UDT must undergo orchiopexy to prevent one case of TC, one death from TC and one exposure to TC treatment beyond radical orchiectomy as compared to being treated at an older age.

Methods: This retrospective study utilized data from a 2007 Swedish study of males who underwent orchiopexy for UDT (Pettersson et al.). TC incidence for boys undergoing orchiopexy for UDT was assessed based on the age at orchiopexy (0-6 years, 7-9 years, 10-12 years, 13-15 years). The incidence of TC in each age cohort was calculated and used to determine the number needed to treat (NNT) for each age group using assumptions based on published TC outcomes.

Results: For an index patient ≤ 6 years, 372 boys need to undergo orchiopexy to prevent a single case of TC, 1488 boys to prevent exposure to TC therapy beyond radical orchiectomy, and 5315 boys to prevent a single TC-related death compared to treatment at an older age.

Conclusion: While there is evidence supporting benefits of early orchiopexy, the NNT to affect TC outcomes is very high. Even those with delayed orchiopexies have low risk for TC poor outcomes. This information can be used when counseling patients and families faced with UDT about the risks related to TC, especially with comorbidities.

Keywords: Number needed to treat; Orchiopexy; Testicular cancer; Undescended testicle.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cryptorchidism / surgery*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Orchiopexy*
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / prevention & control*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult