Incidence of testicular cancer in the US, 1999-2004

Tuesday, 10 March 2009- Testicular cancer is the leading cancer diagnosed in men aged 20-39 years. To characterise the current incidence, demographics, and tumor characteristics of testicular cancer in the US, a group of researchers examined data for the period 1999-2004 using US Cancer Statistics (USCS) data, which covers >90% of the US population.

The investigators analysed testicular cancer cases diagnosed 1999-2004 reported to population-based registries affiliated with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Program of Cancer Registries (NPCR) or the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) Program. Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT) were grouped as seminomas and non-seminomas. Age-adjusted incidence rates and 95% confidence intervals were calculated.

The results showed that during 1999-2004, 40,682 malignant histologically confirmed TGCTs were diagnosed in the US. Age-adjusted (2000 U.S. standard) incidence rates were higher for seminomas (3.1 per 100,000) compared to non-seminomas (2.0 per 100,000). Non-seminomas increased from 1.9 cases per 100,000 in 1999 to 2.1 per 100,000 in 2004 (annual percent change (APC) 1.6%, p < 0.05).

Seminomas peaked at 8.4 per 100,000 in men aged 35-39 years. Non-seminomas peaked at 6.1 per 100,000 in men aged 25-29 years. Incidence rates in black, American Indian/Alaska Native, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Hispanic men were lower than in non Hispanic white men (p < 0.0001).

From 1999-2004, incidence rates for non-seminomas increased for non Hispanic white men and Hispanic men (APC 1.9% and 3.2%, respectively, P < 0.05). While only 9.5% of TGCTs in non Hispanic white men were diagnosed at a distant stage, 16.0%, 13.6%, 16.8%, and 14.9% of Hispanic, black, American Indian/Alaska Native, and Asian/Pacific Islander men with TGCTs, respectively, were diagnosed at distant stage.

The authors concluded that monitoring incidence rates for rare cancers is improved with nationwide coverage afforded by using USCS data. While testicular cancer is highly curable, racial/ethnic disparities in diagnosis stage need to be addressed. Discovering why non-seminomas are increasing in non Hispanic white and Hispanic men may lend insight into the etiology of this disease.

Source: J. Townsend, L. C. Richardson, R. R. German; Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA; Oral Abstract Presentation Session, Genitourinary Cancers Symposium, ASCO, Orlando, Florida, USA, 26-28 February 2009.


Edited by: JV

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