Gynecomastia in testicular cancer patients. Prognostic and therapeutic implications

Cancer. 1985 Nov 15;56(10):2534-8. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19851115)56:10<2534::aid-cncr2820561036>;2-q.


Eighty-one patients with advanced testicular cancer were evaluated for gynecomastia or severe breast tenderness at diagnosis and after platinum-based chemotherapy. The prognostic significance of gynecomastia in these two settings was explored. At presentation, 10% (8 patients) had gynecomastia or breast tenderness and elevated HCG levels. The likelihood of gynecomastia was greater with increasing HCG level (P = 0.002). However, gynecomastia at presentation was a more powerful independent discriminant of poor survival than the initial HCG level by multivariate analysis (P = 0.004). Fifteen percent (12 patients) developed transient gynecomastia after chemotherapy not attributable to other known causes. HCG levels were normal. Endocrine evaluation typically revealed elevated FSH, LH, and estradiol/testosterone ratios. This may have reflected damage to testicular germinal epithelium. All 12 patients are alive without disease in contrast to the 8 patients who had gynecomastia at diagnosis. Therapy decisions should therefore be based on the time of onset of gynecomastia and in the context of appropriate clinical markers and evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Breast / pathology*
  • Castration
  • Chorionic Gonadotropin / blood
  • Dysgerminoma / pathology
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Gynecomastia / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Physical Examination
  • Prognosis
  • Teratoma / pathology
  • Testicular Neoplasms / blood
  • Testicular Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Testicular Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Time Factors


  • Chorionic Gonadotropin