Common boys' birth defect leads to cancer
Published 29/11/2012 | 05:00
Boys whose testicles fail to fall into their scrotum are almost three times as likely to develop testicular cancer, according to a new analysis of studies.
The findings prompted the report's authors to question whether boys suffering from the condition should be regularly monitored to reduce future risk.
Cryptorchidism, where testes are retained within the abdomen, is the most common birth defect in boys, affecting around 6pc of newborns.
It was calculated that boys whose testicles fail to fall are just under three times more likely to suffer from testicular cancer in later life.
The authors of the new analysis found that further research was needed to ascertain how the length of a testicle's descent affects the cancer risk.
"The . . . question this study raises is whether the risk of malignant transformation is sufficiently significant to warrant regular follow-up, as is the case with other premalignant states," they added.