Estrogen exposure during gestation and risk of testicular cancer

Cryptorchidism : a major risk factor, 1983


In this case–control study of 108 cases of testicular cancer in men under 30 years of age,

  • cryptorchidism was a major risk factor [relative risk (RR) = 9.0].
  • Low birth weight was also associated with increased risk (RR = 3.2).
  • Having severe acne at puberty was protective (RR = 0.37).
  • Interviews with mothers of cases revealed that exposure of the mother to exogenous estrogen during pregnancy created a significant risk in the son (RR = 8.0).
  • In first pregnancies, excessive nausea indicated an increased risk of testicular cancer (RR = 4.2).
  • Increased body weight in the mother also increased the risk. The relation between these factors and testicular hypoplasia is discussed.
  • Severe perimenopausal menorrhagia was a factor in the mother associated with reduced risk of testicular cancer in the son (RR = 0.10).

A modified hormonal milieu in the mother appears to be important in the later development of testicular cancer in her sons.


  • Estrogen exposure during gestation and risk of testicular cancer, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, NCBI PubMed, PMID: 6140323, 1983 Dec.
  • Featured image credit Sebastian Kanczok.

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