Testis Rising

Image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health

Image courtesy of the National Institutes of Health

From the annual Genitourinary Cancers Symposium:

A population-based analysis of testicular cancer by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (www.cdc.gov) identified a disturbing trend among non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men.

From 1999 to 2004, 40,682 malignant histologically confirmed testicular germ cell tumors were diagnosed in the U.S., according to U.S. Cancer Statistics data, which cover more than 92% of the U.S. population.

Age-adjusted incidence rates remain higher for seminomas (3.1 per 100,000) than for non-seminomas (2.0 per 100,000).

A closer look at the data however, revealed that non-seminomas are increasing for non-Hispanic white and Hispanic men, with an annual percent change of 1.9% and 3.2%, respectively.

Overall, non-seminomas are also occuring in younger men, peaking at 6.1 per 100,000 in men aged 25-29 years versus 8.4 per 100,000 in men aged 35-39 years for seminomas.

Another unsettling finding was that while only 9.5% of testicular tumors in non-Hispanic whites were diagnosed at a distant stage, 16% of Hispanics, 13.6% of blacks, 16.8% of Native Americans/Alaskan Natives and 14.9% of Asians/Pacific Islanders were diagnosed at distant stage.

The data open up a lot of questions, said session co-chair Dr. Cora Sternberg, of San Camillo Forlanini Hospital, in Rome. It’s unclear whether the racial/ethnic disparities reflect cultural differences, a lack of access to medical care, or a low medical literacy that keeps some men from seeking care.

The CDC’s Julie Townsend, who presented the data, suggested that Comprehensive Cancer Control programs at the state, tribal, and territorial level can use the data to address access to care and survivorship.

The meeting was sponsored by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American Society for Radiation Oncology, and the Society of Urologic Oncology.

—Patrice Wendling

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1 Comment

Filed under Family Medicine, Oncology, Urology

One response to “Testis Rising

  1. That is disturbing that testicular cancer is on the rise. Some sort of behavior, exposure, or what we consume is increasing our testicular cancer.

    Maybe too many cell phones in the pocket. Maybe pesticides. Maybe marijuana. Hard to say.

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