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October 10, 1980

Lifelong follow-up being urged for patients with cryptorchidism

JAMA. 1980;244(15):1651-1652. doi:10.1001/jama.1980.03310150003001

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Health professionals are taking renewed interest in testicular germ cell tumors partly as a result of a new focus on the problem of undescended testes, a condition that affects about one in every 400 to 500 men.

Discovery that one or both testicles have failed to descend usually results in earlier treatment now than it did even a few years ago. However, there are indications that, particularly if the treatment involves orchiopexy, previously cryptorchid men must be examined regularly, perhaps for life, because of an increased risk of testicular cancer.

This risk is variously estimated to be from 15 to 40 times greater than in men whose testes have descended normally. Though testicular cancer probably accounts for less than 2% of all cancers, it is the third leading cause of death from cancer among men aged 15 to 34 years in this country.

The latest work on the problem comes