Risk factors for cancer of the testis in young men

Can a relative excess of DES at the time of testicular differentiation be a major risk factor for testis cancer (and cryptorchidism) ? 1979

Abstracts

An individual matched case-control study of testis cancer in 131 men under age 40 was conducted to investigate antecedent risk factors including events during prenatal life.

Ten patients were born with an undescended testis compared to only two controls (p less equal to 0.02), a previously reported risk factor. Two new risk factors were uncovered: six patients-mothers received hormones during the index pregnancy compared to only one control-mother, and eight patient-mothers and two control-mothers reported excessive nausea as a complication of the index pregnancy.

A hypothesis linking these three factors is presented: viz, that a major risk factor for testis cancer is a relative excess of certain hormones (in particular estrogen) at the time of differentiation of the testes.

… “Estrogen administration can directly induce testicular cancer in certains strains of mice, and diethylstilbestrol (DES) administered to pregnant animals has produced incomplete development of the male genitalia, including testicular hypoplasia and maldescent.” …

… “Epididymal cysts, hypotrophic testis, hypoplastic penis and meatal stenosis have also been detected in DES exposed offspring.” …

… “The risk of cryptorchidism, excessive nausea and use of hormones may thus be combined into a single hypothesis, viz. that a major risk factor for testis cancer (and cryptorchidism) is a relative excess of certain hormones (estrogen and perhaps progesterone) at the time of testicular differentiation (7th week).” …

References

  • Risk factors for cancer of the testis in young men, International journal of cancer, Department of Community and Family Medicine, University of Southern California School of Medicine, NCBI PubMed, PMID: 37169, 1979 May.
  • Featured image credit immuno-oncologynews.
DES DIETHYLSTILBESTROL RESOURCES

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