The risk is about 4 to 10
times greater in males who have an undescended testicle than in other
The higher up in the path of
descent a testicle stops, the more likely it is to form a tumor. An
undescended testicle in the belly is 4 to 6 times more likely to develop
cancer than one that is farther down toward the
Moving the testicle to the scrotum may help reduce the
risk of cancer. Most
doctors recommend surgery to place undescended testicles in the scrotum. This makes it much easier to find cancer if it does develop.
Untreated undescended testicles are usually
removed in adult men and teens who have gone through
puberty because of the increased risk of
Men who have an undescended testicle
should have regular medical checkups (at least once every 2 years) throughout
life. These checkups may include a testicular exam. If you have an undescended
testicle, talk with your doctor about how often you need to be checked.
Some doctors recommend a testicular biopsy during surgery to correct an
undescended testicle if the testicle is in the belly
or the child has genital defects, such as
hypospadias, or a
genetic disorder. In this test, a small sample of
tissue is taken from the testicles and examined to find out the potential for
Braga LHP, Bagli DJ (2011). Urologic abnormalities of the genitourinary tract. In CD Rudolph et al., eds., Rudolph's Pediatrics, 22nd ed., pp. 1741-1748. New York: McGraw-Hill.
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.