Drinking Alcohol and Testicular Cancer
Drinking alcoholic beverages (beer, distilled spirits, and wine) does not increase the risk of developing testicular cancer. That's the conclusion of the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, CancerHelp UK, the American Cancer Society, the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the Mayo Clinic and other medical organizations.
Risk factors for testicular cancer include:
- Cryptorchidism, or undescended testicle(s). This increases the risk of testicular cancer by several times.
- Family history of testicular cancer
- Cancer of the other testicle
- Age (about 90% of testicular cancer occurs between the ages of 20 and 54)
- Race. White men are about five times more likely to develop testicular cancer than African-American men and three times more likely than Native-American men or Asian-American men)
- HIV infection
- Klinefelter's syndrome (a condition in which men have an extra X chromosome)
Symptoms of testicular cancer include:
- A lump in a testicle
- An enlargement or swelling of a testicle
- Pain in a testicle or in the scrotum
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A collection of fluid in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the groin, lower abdomen, back or in the groin
- An enlargement or tenderness of the breasts
Monthly self-examination of the testicles is useful in early diagnosis of the disease. Testicular self-examination is described at www.tc-cancer.com/selfexam.html, where you can also register for a free monthly email reminder
Drinking alcohol is not a risk factor for testicular cancer. On the other hand, the moderate and regular consumption of alcoholic beverages is associated with better health and longer life than is abstaining from alcohol or abusing it.
Drinking in moderation has been described by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism as a man consuming four alcoholic drinks on any day and an average of 14 drinks each week.
A standard alcoholic drink is:
- A 12-ounce can or bottle of regular beer
- A 5-ounce glass of dinner wine
- A shot (one and one-half ounces) of 80 proof liquor or spirits such as vodka, tequila, or rum either straight or in a mixed drink.
Standard drinks contain equivalent amounts of alcohol.
There is no evidence that any particular form of alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, or distilled spirits) confers greater health or longevity benefits than any other.
Note: This website does not make health or medical recommendations regarding drinking alcohol and testicular cancer and none should be inferred.
Testicular Cancer Internet Resources:
- Testicular Cancer. http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/types/testicular
- Testicular Cancer. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/testicularcancer.html
- Risk Factors for Testicular Cancer. http://www.cancer.org/docroot/cri/content/cri_2_4_2x_what_are_the_risk_factors_for_testicular_cancer_41.asp?sitearea=ped
- Testicular Cancer Risk Factors. http://www.cancer.net/patient/Cancer+Types/Testicular+Cancer?sectionTitle=Risk%20Factors
- Testicular Cancer Risk Factors. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/testicular-cancer/DS00046/DSECTION=risk-factors
- Signs & Symptoms of Testicular Cancer http://www.tc-cancer.com/signs.html
- Testicular Cancer Symptoms http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/testicular-cancer/DS00046/DSECTION=symptoms
Readings on Testicular Cancer:
- Brantus, P.V. Testicular Cancer Research Trends. New York: Nova Biomedical Books, 2007.
- Cancerbackup. Understanding Testicular Cancer. London: Cancerbackup, 2007.
- Colorama Video. Testicular Cancer. DVD video. Mornington, Vic.: Colorama Video, 2005.
- Hasan, H. Testicular Cancer. New York: Rosen, 2011.
- Johanson, P. Frequently Asked Questions about Testicular Cancer.
New York: Rosen, 2008. (juvenile readership)
- Myrup, C., et al. Correction of cryptochidism and testicular cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2007, 357(8), 825-7; author reply 825-7.
- National Cancer Institute. Testicular Cancer. Bethesda, MD : U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, 1989.
- Oyen, R., et al. Value of MRI in the diagnosis and staging of testicular tumours. Journal of Belge Radiology, 1993, 76(2), 84-9.
- Parker, J.N., and Parker, P.M. Testicular Cancer. San Diego, CA: ICON Health Publications, 2004.
- Pettersson, A., et al. Age at surgery for undescended testis and risk of testicular cancer. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2007, 356(18), 1835-1841.
- Sheinfeld, J. Testicular Cancer. Philadelphia, PA.; London : Saunders, 2007.
- Slan, L.C. Testicular Cancer. Bethesda, MD: U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, 1987.
- Sternberg, C.N. Testicualr Cancer. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2009.
- Torpy, J.M., et al. Testicular cancer. JAMA: the journal of the American Medical Association, 2008, 299(6), 718.
- Verville, K. Testicular Cancer.New York: Chelsea House, 2009.
- Walker, A. Understanding Testicular Cancer. Dublin: Irish Cancer Society, 2006.
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