Objectives: Testicular cancer (TC) is the most common malignancy in young men. A review of all published articles on TC incidence revealed an increased incidence in Northern and Central Europe. We extended the analysis to the whole of Europe by using all data available, notably from registries.
Methods: We performed a PubMed search and selected articles dealing with TC incidence. We obtained additional information from data of European registries through the eight volumes of the Cancer Incidence in Five Continents, IARC Scientific Publications.
Results: Since the Second World War, TC incidence has been increasing in nearly all European countries. It has doubled in several countries, including France, since 1970. We observed that the increase followed a gradient: the highest rate is centred in Denmark and Germany, and decreases progressively in a centrifugal manner.
Conclusions: TC incidence is increasing throughout Europe, but wide discrepancies exist between the different countries. The reasons for such a phenomenon are still unclear although environmental factors are strongly suspected, which could have an impact on male fertility. From a public health perspective, further research using cases collected through national and regional population-based registers and case-control studies must be strongly encouraged.