According to recent research, testicular cancer incidence is increasing, especially among Hispanic men. The number of cases of testicular cancer has increased rapidly lately, although researchers say they do not yet know the cause of this increase. Dr. Scott Eggener, an associate professor of surgery at the University of Chicago, said that although cancer is most common in white men, though there is an increased incidence in Hispanic men.
To reach these conclusions, Eggener analyzed cases of testicular cancer between 1992-2009 (data were taken from the nationwide epidemiology database). Unlike 1992, when testicular cancer incidence was 5.7 per 100 000 inhabitants, in 2009, the incidence of this cancer has increased to 6.8 per 100 000 inhabitants. Eggener said that the incidence of testicular cancer seems to grow slowly but steadily in practically all groups studied. What is interesting is that there is a dramatic increase in the incidence of testicular cancer in Hispanic men. However, Eggener said he could not explain this increase. Of all groups studied, it seems that Hispanics have the highest increase in incidence from 4 cases per 100 000 inhabitants in 1992, to 6.3 per 100 000 inhabitants, in 2009.
According to the American Cancer Society, testicular cancer mainly affects young men as half of cases occur in men aged between 20 and 34 years. But that does not mean that old men cannot develop testicular cancer. It is estimated that in the United States this year 7,920 new cases of testicular cancer will appear. Dr. Len Lichtenfeld, deputy chief medical officer of the American Cancer Society, said that however it is still a rare cancer. He added that it is important to become aware of this situation but we should not be alarmed by this increase. Compared with white men, Hispanics however have a lower incidence.
In terms of survival, researchers believe that the cancer prognosis is generally good. In fact of all solid cancers, testicular cancer has the best prognosis as 5-year survival rate is about 95%. Symptoms are usually nespecific and refers to a testicle enlargement, lump in the testicle or pain in the lower abdomen. So far there have been identified only a few risk factors. One of them is undescended testicle into the scrotum, a congenital condition that requires surgery. Although the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force does not recommend routine testicular self-examination, however, it is recommended that every man to consult a doctor when he notice changes in the testis. “If a man notices a lump or a change, he should go see his doctor,” Lichtenfeld said. “We have had a significant improvement in the treatment of this cancer.”