Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Testicular Cancer on Rise in U.S., Especially Among Hispanic Men

Study finds slow, steady increase, but experts say condition remains uncommon

WebMD News from HealthDay

Study finds slow, steady increase, but experts

By Kathleen Doheny

HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, May 3 (HealthDay News) -- The number of testicular cancer cases continues to climb slowly but steadily in the United States, according to new research.

While the cancer is still most common among white males, the greatest increase is among Hispanic men, according to Dr. Scott Eggener, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago.

Eggener tracked the statistics on testicular cancer from 1992 through 2009, looking at data from a nationwide epidemiology database.

"The incidence of testicular cancer appears to be increasing very slowly but steadily among virtually all groups that we studied," he said. "The novel finding is that the most dramatic increase is in Hispanic men."

Eggener can't explain the increase. He is due to present his findings Monday at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, in San Diego. The data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases supported the study.

Testicular cancer is known as a young man's cancer, as half of the cases affect men aged 20 to 34, according to the American Cancer Society. However, older men can also be affected.

This year, the American Cancer Society expects 7,920 new cases of testicular cancer in the United States. About 370 men are expected to die of it.

"It still remains an uncommon cancer," said Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society. He reviewed the new findings. "It's important that we become aware of the situation [of rising numbers of cases], but not become alarmed by it." Hispanic men, he noted, still have a lower rate of the cancer than do white men.

In his study, Eggener found that the incidence of testicular cancer rose from 1992 through 2009. In 1992, for instance, 5.7 of every 100,000 men had testicular cancer. By 2009, that number had risen to 6.8 men for every 100,000.

Hispanic men had the largest annual percentage increase. In 1992, four of every 100,000 Hispanic men were affected. By 2009, it was 6.3 men of every 100,000, the investigators found.

For men affected, the outlook is generally good, experts agreed. "It has the highest survival rate of any solid tumor," Eggener said. The overall five-year survival rate, he noted, is 95 percent or higher.

Symptoms can include a painless lump on a testicle, an enlarged testicle or an achy feeling in the lower belly.

Few risk factors have been identified. One known risk factor is having an undescended testicle -- one that does not move down into the scrotum at birth. In the United States, those born with an undescended testicle commonly have corrective surgery, Eggener said.

Today on WebMD

Building a Support System
Blog
cancer fighting foods
SLIDESHOW
 
precancerous lesions slideshow
SLIDESHOW
quit smoking tips
SLIDESHOW
 
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
Blog
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
colorectal cancer treatment advances
Video
breast cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
prostate cancer overview
SLIDESHOW
lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Actor Michael Douglas
Article