After analysing years of research into the causes of testicular cancer, London Medical Laboratory has revealed that younger, white men of above-average height are at the highest risk of the disease.
The leading testing expert, Dr Quinton Fivelman PhD, chief scientific officer at London Medical Laboratory, says: ‘Our analysis of 12 years of research has revealed some significant, if currently unexplained, factors that increase a man’s chances of being at risk.’
‘The first risk factor is age. Testicular cancer is frequently the most common malignancy among young adult men. The disease is most common among under-35-year-olds, with the highest incidence rates being in the 30 to 34 age group. Only 1% of 75-year-olds and over develop the disease.’
‘The second risk factor is height. An influential paper published in 2010 determined that for every extra 5cm (2 inches) in height above average, the risk of testicular cancer went up by 13%.’
‘The paper looked at the results of 13 studies and concluded that, although it is unlikely that height is a direct cause, it is probable that some underlying factor influences both body size and risk of testicular cancer. Of the 13 trials, all but three reported an association between height and testicular cancer risk.’
‘Currently, no concrete cause for the link between height and testicular cancer cases has been identified, but some scientists are looking at whether it is associated with high fat or dairy intake in childhood. Interestingly, however, no research finds any link between body weight and developing testicular cancer.’
‘The third risk factor is race. Being white also increases the risk of developing the disease. Our research indicates that, worldwide, the risk of testicular cancer among white men is about four to five times higher than that of black and Asian men.’
Cancer Research UK says: ‘In the UK, white men have a higher risk of testicular cancer than men from other ethnic groups.’
‘That’s backed up by research from the US. According to John Hopkins Medicine, testicular cancer is most common in white (Caucasian) men in the US and less common in black (African-American), Hispanic, Latino, and Asian-American men. Worldwide, the risk of developing this disease is highest among men in the US and Europe and the lowest among men in Africa or Asia.’
‘One more factor that could be significant in determining if a man might develop testicular cancer is having undescended testicles (a condition known as cryptorchidism). For these people, the risk is greater if the condition has never been corrected or if their surgery occurred after age 13.’
‘Currently, 2,400 new testicular cancer cases are in the UK annually. That’s more than six every day. The number of cases of testicular cancer diagnosed yearly in Britain has roughly doubled since the mid-1970s. Research in the European Journal of Cancer forecasts an increase of 25% across Europe between 2015 and 2025. London Medical Laboratory’s own results support this prediction.’
‘However, it’s important to remember that, even though cases are on the rise, testicular cancer is still not common, particularly among older men. Around 1 in 215 UK males will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime. And the good news is that around 98% of men diagnosed with the disease survive for at least ten years. Even after cancer has spread, patients can still be successfully treated.’
‘It’s important that everyone, particularly those men who are most at risk, are aware of any changes to the size and weight of their testicles and don’t delay seeing their GP if they are concerned.’
‘Men’s bodies are a well-designed machine but, as with any equipment that our life depends on, it’s best to keep it tested and well-maintained. Blood tests are one useful way men can obtain an essential MOT, checking for specific male issues from prostate problems to erectile dysfunction. Blood tests will reassure most men they are healthy and improve outcomes by identifying them earlier in cases where issues are found.’
‘For example, London Medical Laboratory’s at-home finger-prick Male Hormones Profile test checks the full range of men’s hormones and is very useful for giving information about fertility, planning sports and fitness programmes and monitoring testosterone supplementation.’
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