Testicular cancer rates are on the rise in young Hispanic Americans

A new analysis has found that rates of testicular cancer have been rising dramatically in recent years among young Hispanic American men, but not among their non-Hispanic counterparts. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings indicate that greater awareness is needed concerning the increasing risk of testicular cancer in Hispanic adolescents and young adults, and that research efforts are needed to determine the cause of this trend.

Testicular cancer is one of the most common types of cancer among adolescent and young adult men, and it is also one of the most readily treatable. Rebecca Johnson, MD, of Seattle Children’s Hospital, and her colleagues analyzed trends in testicular cancer rates in two datasets of the National Cancer Institute’s Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program. The datasets spanned 1992 to 2010 and 2000 to 2010 and they sampled 15 percent and 28 percent of the United States population, respectively.

The investigators found that between 1992 and 2010, the annual incidence of testicular cancer in 15- to 39-year-old Hispanic whites increased 58 percent from 7.18 cases per 100,000 in 1992 to 11.34 cases per 100,000 by 2010. Incidence rates increased in metropolitan areas for different subtypes of testicular cancer and for all stages of disease at the time of diagnosis. In the same 19-year interval, testicular germ cell tumor incidence among non-Hispanic white young adults increased 7 percent, from 12.41 to 13.22 per 100,000. During the 2000 to 2010 interval, incidence rates rose in Hispanic whites but no significant trends were observed in incidence rates among non-Hispanic whites.

Dr. Johnson noted that, historically, non-Hispanic white men have had the highest rate of testicular cancer of all racial and ethnic groups in the United States; however, this study’s findings suggest that if the current trends continue, the rate of testicular cancer among Hispanic Americans will outpace that of non-Hispanic white men within the next few years.

What is testicular cancer?

Testicular cancer is the most common cancer affecting men between the ages of 15 and 35, but the disease also occurs in other age groups, so all men should be aware of its symptoms. While testicular cancer is common among young men, young men typically do not get a lot of cancer, so overall testicular cancer is a relatively rare disease.

According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health statistics 47 cases of testicular cancer were diagnosed in the NZ in 2007 and 9 men die from testicular cancer in 2007.

Most testicular cancers are found by men themselves, by accident or while doing a testicular self-examination. The testicles are smooth, oval-shaped, and rather firm. Men who examine themselves regularly (once a month) become familiar with the way their testicles normally feel. Any changes in the way they feel from month-to-month should be checked by a doctor, preferably a Urologist.

In men under 60, 95% of testicular tumours originate in the germ cells, the special sperm-forming cells within the testicles. These tumours fall into one of two types, seminomas or nonseminomas.

Other rarer forms of testicular cancer include leydig and sertoli cell tumours. These tumours are much harder to treat and patients with them should absolutely get a second opinion from an expert.

Men over the age of 60 can still get a germ cell tumour, but they are more likely to get leukemia, lymphoma, or a benign tumour called spermatocytic seminoma.

Unless otherwise noted, all the information on this web site concerns testicular germ cell tumours.

<a rel=Testicular cancer rates are on the rise in young Hispanic Americans" align="right" /> “Hispanic Americans comprise the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. Until only recently, cancer incidence data for this population has been too sparse to accurately analyze testicular cancer trends among Hispanic men,” said Dr. Johnson. “The increasing rate of testicular cancer in adolescent and young adult Hispanic males, combined with the rapid expansion of the Hispanic population in the United States, is projected to have a measurable impact on the United States healthcare system.”


Evelyn Martinez
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