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Am I at a risk of cancer?

Q: I am a 26 years old male born with undescended left testis, which was in inguinal canal. I underwent orchiopexy at the age of 4 years. Am I at risk of cancer?

A:Recent studies have reported the relative risk of testicular cancer in patients with cryptorchidism (hidden undescended testis) to be 3 to 14 times the normal expected incidence in general population. Also it is important to note that between 5% and 10% of patients with a history of cryptorchidism may develop tumour in the contralateral, normally descended testis.

It is controversial whether orchiopexy affects the natural history of development of a testicular tumour, although there is emerging evidence to support the claim that orchidopexy before 10 years of age may lessen the risk. More than the prevention of tumour, orchiopexy allows for a more thorough examination of the testis and helps in early detection of tumour if it develops.

Thus a testicular self examination by all males is an excellent practice to detect early testicular cancer. One should consult the urologist in case any change in size, consistency or sensation of testis is noticed.

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