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Incidence Of Testicular Germ Cell Cancers In U.S. Children

October 09, 2017

It has been reported that the incidence of testicular cancer in the Caucasian population in the United States increased during most of the last half of the 20th Century, but information on trends in the occurrence of prepubertal testicular cancer is lacking in the literature.

Walsh, et al, from Seattle, Washington analyzed the population-based cohort to determine whether the incidence trends of prepubertal testicular germ cell tumors have risen similarly to those seen in the adult testicular tumors. They identified cases of histological confirmed germ cell cancer in boys from the newborn period to 14 years of age, of all races, over a period from 1973-2000. They performed a study the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program of the National Cancer Institute. The variable analyzed included age, race, tumor histological type, and year of diagnosis.

The group found that a total of 131 cases of germ cell cancer were diagnosed among boys of all races, with an overall incidence of 1.6 cases per 1 million person-years. Yolk sac tumor was the most common, followed by teratoma. Choriocarcinoma and seminoma were equally rare. Tumors were most common among Caucasians during early infancy. No secular trends in incidence rates were identified.

The group concluded that prepubertal testicular cancer is rare. All tumors were more common in Caucasians. In contrast to adult testicular cancer, no clear trend over time was found for prepubertal tumors. Whatever the etiology may be for the increased incidence of testicular cancer over time in men, it does not seem to apply to testicular cancer in boys.

Walsh TJ, Grady RW, Porter MP, Lin DW, Weiss NS

Urology 68(2):402-405,2006

By Pasquale Casale, MD

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