Recent trends in the incidence of testicular germ cell tumors in the United States

Andrology. 2015 Jan;3(1):13-8. doi: 10.1111/andr.288. Epub 2014 Oct 20.


Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT), which comprise 98% of all testicular malignancies, are the most commonly occurring cancers among men between the ages of 15 and 44 years in the United States (US). A prior report from our group found that while TGCT incidence among all US men increased between 1973 and 2003, the rate of increase among black men was more pronounced starting in 1989-1993 than was the rate of increase among other men. In addition, TGCT incidence increased among Hispanic white men between 1992 and 2003. To determine whether these patterns have continued, in the current study, we examined temporal trends in incidence through 2011. Between 1992 and 2011, 21 271 TGCTs (12 419 seminomas; 8715 non-seminomas; 137 spermatocytic seminomas) were diagnosed among residents of the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results 13 registry areas. The incidence of TGCT was highest among non-Hispanic white men (6.97 per 100 000 man-years) followed by American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN; 4.66), Hispanic white (4.11), Asian/Pacific Islander (A/PI; 1.95), and black (1.20) men. Non-Hispanic white men were more likely to present with smaller tumors (3.5 cm) and localized disease (72.6%) than were men of other races/ethnicities. Between 1992 and 2011, TGCT incidence increased significantly among Hispanic white [annual percent change (APC) = 2.94, p < 0.0001], black (APC = 1.67, p = 0.03), non-Hispanic white (APC = 1.23, p < 0.0001), and A/PI (APC = 1.04, p = 0.05) men. Incidence rates also increased, although not significantly, among AI/AN men (APC = 2.96, p = 0.06). The increases were greater for non-seminoma than seminoma. In summary, while non-Hispanic white men in the US continue to have the highest incidence of TGCT, they present at more favorable stages of disease and with smaller tumors than do other men. The increasing rates among non-white men, in conjunction with the larger proportion of non-localized stage disease, suggest an area where future research is warranted.

Keywords: ethnic groups; incidence; testicular cancer; testicular germ cell tumor; trends.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Continental Population Groups
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / epidemiology*
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / ethnology
  • Neoplasms, Germ Cell and Embryonal / pathology
  • Risk Factors
  • SEER Program
  • Seminoma / epidemiology*
  • Seminoma / ethnology
  • Seminoma / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / epidemiology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / ethnology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology
  • Time Factors
  • Tumor Burden
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Young Adult

Supplementary concepts

  • Nonseminomatous germ cell tumor