Purpose: To estimate occupation-specific risk of seminomas and nonseminoma subtypes of testicular cancer among Swedish men gainfully employed in 1970 over the period 1971-1989.
Methods: Age-period standardized incidence ratios were computed in a dataset linking cancer diagnoses from the Swedish national cancer register to occupational and demographical data obtained in the census in 1970. Log-linear Poisson models were fitted, allowing for geographical area and town size. Taking occupational sector as a proxy for socioeconomic status, occupational risks were recalculated using intra-sector analyses, where the reference group comprised other occupations in the same sector only. Risk estimators per occupation were also computed for men reporting the same occupation in 1960 and 1970, a more specifically exposed group.
Results: Seminomas and nonseminomas showed a substantial geographical variation. The association between germ-cell testicular tumors and high socioeconomic groups was found mainly for nonseminomas. Positive associations with particular occupations were more evident for seminomas, for which railway stationmasters, metal annealers and temperers, precision toolmakers, watchmakers, construction smiths, and typographers and lithographers exhibited a risk excess. Concrete and construction worker was the only occupation consistently associated with nonseminomas.
Conclusions: Among the many occupations studied, our results corroborate the previously reported increased risk among metal workers, specifically related with seminomatous tumors in this study. Our results confirm the geographical and socioeconomical differences in the incidence of testicular tumors. These factors should be accounted for in occupational studies. The different pattern of occupations related with seminomas and nonseminomas support the need to study these tumors separately.