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Testicular Torsion Increases Risk of Orchiectomy

Researchers recommend that boys receive earlier education about testicular health

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FRIDAY, Dec. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Because testicular torsion is more common than testicular cancer in males aged 1 to 25 years and increases the risk of orchiectomy, boys should be educated from an early age about testicular torsion, according to a study published in the December issue of the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.

Jonathan Mansbach, M.D., of Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues extracted records on males aged 1 to 25 years from the 1998 Nationwide Inpatient Sample to determine rates of testicular torsion and orchiectomy, and compared them with records of males aged 1 to 25 diagnosed with testicular cancer. The total comprised 436 participants.

The researchers found an incidence of 4.5 cases of testicular torsion per 100,000 subjects compared to an incidence of 1.2 cases of testicular cancer per 100,000 subjects. "Of the estimated 2,248 males diagnosed nationally in 1998 with testicular torsion, 762 (34%) had an orchiectomy," the authors write.

"We suggest that health care providers begin discussing testicular disorders, specifically testicular torsion, with prepubertal patients at the time of routine testicular examination," the authors conclude. "Moreover, national organizations may want to consider revising their male health guidelines to include earlier education about testicular health. Males should understand that acute or intermittent scrotal pain needs immediate medical evaluation and that delays may affect their fertility."

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