Maternal risk factors for testicular cancer: a population-based case-control study (UK)

Cancer Causes Control. 2004 Apr;15(3):277-83. doi: 10.1023/B:CACO.0000024257.49409.1f.


Objective: To investigate the role of a range of maternal and pre-natal characteristics as potential risk factors for testicular cancer.

Methods: A population-based case-control study of testicular cancer. Mothers of participants completed a questionnaire about their reproductive and obstetric history.

Results: The risk of testicular cancer was approximately doubled for sons of mothers aged 15-19 years at conception compared with mothers with older ages at conception. Nausea or vomiting during the first trimester of pregnancy was associated with a reduced risk of testicular cancer (odds ratio of 0.73, 95% confidence interval 0.53-1.00). There was also a borderline reduction in risk in men who had been breastfed for 6 months or more (odds ratio 0.65, 95% confidence interval 0.41-1.04). Men who had low birthweights (< 2500 g) or had been born two or more weeks early had slightly increased risks, as did men whose mothers had used oral contraception in the 12 months before their conception.

Conclusions: These findings support previous reports of increased risks in men born early or with low birthweight, but the direction of the association with maternal age is contrary to some other studies. The suggestion of a protective effect of breastfeeding requires further confirmation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Birth Weight
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant, Low Birth Weight*
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Maternal Age*
  • Medical History Taking
  • Middle Aged
  • Nausea
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Pregnancy Trimester, First
  • Risk Factors
  • Testicular Neoplasms / etiology*
  • Vomiting