Can This Birth Defect Predict Testicular Cancer?

Can This Birth Defect Predict Testicular Cancer?

Our whole deal here is finding ways to detect testicular cancer before it spreads, and we do that in any way we can. So when a new study gets released that connects treatment of a common birth defect in boys to increased risks, it’s important to call attention to it.

Undescended testicles occur in more than 200,000 births in the United States each year. When the male baby is gestating, at some point before birth the two testicles migrate down into the scrotum. When they don’t, the typical treatment is to give them time and allow them to drop on their own. In some cases, though, surgery is prescribed.

A massive study from the University of Sydney discovers that men who had undescended testicles as infants are more than twice as likely to have testicular cancer later in life as well as a number of other fertility issues. Their study indicates that surgery on the birth defect before 18 months is not performed as often as it should be, and that might help mitigate this situation.

If you’re reading this, it’s probably too late to deal with undescended testicles as an infant, but new parents should know the very real risks and advocate for surgery if their boy is born with their balls not dropped.

Read more at Science Daily.