Have you ever wondered if there is a connection between low testosterone (low T) and testicular cancer? Considering both originate in the testes, the correlation is understandable. April is Testicular Cancer (TC) Awareness Month which creates awareness around the leading form of cancer in men aged 15-44. Knowing more about low T and other TC risks and performing self-exams are the keys to early detection and saving lives.
Low T and Testicular Cancer
Low T occurs when testosterone levels are deficient, and the body can no longer keep up with it’s demands. There are primary and secondary causes of low T; these include:
- Injury to the testicle.
- Trauma, testicular cancer, radiation, or chemotherapy to treat testicular cancer are examples.
- Klinefelter syndrome.
- In this syndrome, there are two or more X chromosomes in addition to the Y chromosome, and this can lead to abnormal testicle development.
- Undescended testicles.
- If the testicles don’t descend by early childhood, it could affect testosterone production.
- Pituitary disorders can affect the release of hormones that tell the testes to make testosterone. Therefore, testosterone production can be deficient.
- Certain medications, including those for severe pain, can affect testosterone production.
- Type 2 diabetes can increase your risk for low T.
- Testosterone production decreases over time, so older men typically have lower levels.
- Injury to the testicle.
Although the exact cause of testicular cancer is unknown, certain risk factors increase your risk, such as:
- Undescended testicles (cryptorchidism)
- Urological congenital disabilities
- Family history
- Caucasian men
Scientists and researchers are still looking into the potential connections between low T and TC. However, we know that low T can be present at the time of testicular cancer diagnosis or can develop as a side effect of surgery or chemotherapy. The American Cancer Society says that one of the main risk factors for testicular cancer is cryptorchidism, or undescended testicle(s). So having low T from this condition could be a warning sign for TC.
Early Intervention and Expanding Low T Treatments
Testicular cancer remains one of the most treatable cancer types. Learn more about doing a monthly self-exam or other early interventions to reduce your risk and increase early detection.
If you have a diagnosis of low testosterone, enrolling clinical research studies may help! To learn more about low t studies here at Charlottesville Medical Research, call us at 434-817-2442 or visit our website today!