Prenatal and familial associations of testicular cancer

Br J Cancer. 1987 May;55(5):571-7. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1987.116.


In a case-control study of testis cancer 259 cases with testicular cancer, 238 controls treated at radiotherapy centres and 251 non-radiotherapy hospital in-patient controls were interviewed about some possible prenatal and familial risk factors for the tumour. For firstborn men, the risk of testis cancer increased significantly according to maternal age at the subject's birth, and this effect was most marked for seminoma. The association with maternal age was not apparent for cases other than firstborn. The risk of testis cancer was also significantly raised for men from small sibships and of early birth order. These results accord with the theory that raised maternal levels of available oestrogen during the early part of pregnancy are aetiological for testicular cancer in the son, although other explanations are possible; there is evidence that seminoma risk may particularly be affected.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Birth Order
  • Dysgerminoma / genetics
  • Family Characteristics
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Maternal Age
  • Middle Aged
  • Paternal Age
  • Pregnancy
  • Prenatal Exposure Delayed Effects*
  • Risk
  • Teratoma / genetics
  • Testicular Neoplasms / genetics*