Testicular cancer and antecedent diseases

Br J Cancer. 1987 Jan;55(1):97-103. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1987.20.


A case-control study of the aetiology of testicular cancer was conducted using information obtained by interview and from case-notes of 259 cases with testicular cancer and two sets of control patients -238 men with diagnoses other than testicular cancer attending the same radiotherapy centres as those attended by the cases, and 251 hospital in-patients not attending radiotherapy departments. Logistic regression analyses were performed, after stratifying by age and region of residence, to estimate the relative risks (RRs) associated with various aspects of prior medical history. The risk of testicular cancer was found to be raised for men with a history of cryptorchidism (RR based on comparison with all controls = 6.3; P less than 0.001), inguinal hernia (RR = 1.6; P = 0.14), mumps orchitis (RR = 12.7; P = 0.006), atopy (RR = 1.8; P = 0.03), and meningitis (RR = 3.0; P = 0.21). Inguinal herniorrhaphy before the age of 15 years was particularly a risk factor for seminoma, whereas the relative risks were similar for seminoma and teratoma for the other factors. The results add to the growing evidence that congenital abnormalities involving the process of testicular descent and closure of the processus vaginalis are risk factors for testicular cancer, and that some types of testicular damage later in life may also be important. The findings of associations with previous atopy and certain infections suggest a possible second aetiological mechanism - that immunological abnormalities may be associated with an increased risk of testis cancer.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Cryptorchidism / complications
  • Dysgerminoma / etiology*
  • Genital Diseases, Male / complications
  • Hernia, Inguinal / complications
  • Hernia, Inguinal / surgery
  • Humans
  • Hypersensitivity, Immediate
  • Male
  • Meningitis / complications
  • Middle Aged
  • Mumps / complications
  • Orchitis / complications
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Risk
  • Teratoma / etiology*
  • Testicular Neoplasms / etiology*