Pediatric clinics of North America, 1981
Potential carcinogenesis in DES-exposed males needs to be evaluated, but no evidence exists to date which causally relates in utero exposure to DES to carcinogenesis in men.
The question of carcinogenesis in human males following exposure to DES in utero has been raised for several reasons:
- the vaginal adenosis and carcinoma in the human female exposed to DES in utero,
- the various neoplasms in experimental animals exposed to DES in utero,
- the anecdotal case reports of testicular carcinoma in adult males following exposure to DES in utero,
- and the general concern about abnormal exposure to sex hormones and carcinogenesis in the sex organs.
The following specific factors need to be considered in adult men who have been exposed to DES in utero:
- the increased incidence of carcinoma in hypoplastic testes, with or without antecedent cryptorchidism,
- the prostatic utricle, which is the mullerian duct remnant that is homologous to the female vagina, and which has been found to be the site of endometrial carcinoma in older men,
- and the natural history of prostatic adenocarcinoma, which occurs largely in the seventh and eighth decades of life and may be related to changes in the hormonal environment.
However, it should be strongly emphasized that at present no published controlled studies demonstrate a relationship in the human male between exposure to DES in utero and carcinogenesis.
- Screening of adolescents exposed to diethylstilbestrol in utero, Pediatric clinics of North America, NCBI PubMed, PMID: 6113570, 1981.
- Featured image credit Annie Spratt.