Testicular Cancer Risk Set Early In Life
From: Robina Suwol
Date: 05 Sep 2003
Remote Name: 220.127.116.11
Reuters News Service, September 2, 2003
New York - The risk of testicular cancer is established in large part by
environmental exposures early in life, results of a new study suggest,
although the researchers admit that at this point they aren't exactly sure
what type of exposures increase the risk.
For at least 50 years, there has been an "unexplained" epidemic of testicular
cancer in several populations, although there is a marked difference in the
occurrence of the disease among countries, Dr.Anders Ekbom, of the Karolinska
Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden, and associates explain in the Journal of the
National Cancer Institute.
For example, the incidence of testicular cancer is roughly twice as high in
Sweden as it is in Finland and Denmark. "These differences cannot be explained
solely by genetic differences, but environmental exposures, particularly early
exposures, have been implicated in the of testicular cancer," according to the
To investigate further, Ekbom's group identified 93,172 Finnish men who
immigrated to Sweden between 1969 and 1996. These immigrants were less likely
to develop testicular cancer than the Swedish general population.
There was no link between age at immigration or duration of stay in Sweden and
the reduced risk of testicular cancer.
"The findings are compatible with the hypothesis that lifetime risk of
testicular cancer is determined early in life, possibly before birth," Ekbom
and colleagues write.
"Although we are still without a good hypothesis regarding what
exposures are associated with an increased incidence of testicular cancer, our
results strongly implicate early exposures as major determinants," they say.
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Last changed: March 14, 2006