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Male Infertility Patients Are 20 Times More Likely to Have Testicular Cancer

Armen Hareyan's picture

Testicular Cancer and Male Infertility

Findings have potential of changing clinical practice for male infertility

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Men with infertility and abnormal sperm counts have a 20-fold greater incidence of testicular cancer compared to the general population, according to a new study from the Department of Urology at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. The study, published in this month's issue of the Journal of Urology, may change clinical practice for male infertility and allow earlier diagnosis of testicular cancer.

"Patients and physicians should be aware that one cause of male infertility is cancer, particularly testicular cancer. Screening for testicular cancer could now become a standard part of all male infertility treatment," says Dr. Marc Goldstein, the study's lead author. He is Surgeon-in-Chief of Male Reproductive Medicine and Surgery at NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell and Professor of Reproductive Medicine and Urology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. An early diagnosis of testis cancer may increase the chance of long-term survival.

A retrospective review of the charts of 3,847 men presenting with infertility and abnormal semen analysis during a 10-year period found that 10 men (0.3%) were diagnosed with testicular tumors. Of this group, two men had a history of cryptorchidism, the failure of one or both of the testicles to descend into the scrotum: a risk factor for testicular cancer. The remaining eight men had no identifiable risk factors for testicular cancer. The race- and age-matched control group