Men who have had testicular cancer are more likely to develop prostate cancer

A case-control study of close to 180,000 men suggests that the incidence of prostate cancer is higher among men with a history of testicular cancer (12.6%) than among those without a history of testicular cancer (2.8%). Men who have had testicular cancer were also more likely to develop intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancers. The study was presented at the 2015 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in Orlando, Florida.

"Men with a history of testicular cancer should talk with their doctor about assessing their risk for prostate cancer, given there may be an increased risk," said senior study author Mohummad Minhaj Siddiqui, MD, an assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and director of urologic robotic surgery at the University of Maryland Marlene and Stewart Greenebaum Cancer Center in Baltimore, Maryland.

"It is too soon to make any practice recommendations based on this single study, but the findings provide groundwork for further research into the biologic link between the two diseases."

Researchers analyzed Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results (SEER) data on 32,435 men with a history of testicular cancer and 147,044 men with a history of melanoma. Melanoma was used as the control group because there is no known association between melanoma and prostate cancer. It is expected that patients with melanoma would have a similar risk for developing prostate cancer as men in the general population. On average, men in both groups developed prostate cancer about 30 years after their first cancer was diagnosed.

The overall incidence of prostate cancer by age 80 years was significantly higher among men with a history of testicular cancer compared to the control (12.6% vs 2.8%). The incidence of intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer was also increased in the testicular cancer group compared to the control group (5.8% vs 1.1%). Testicular cancer was associated with a 4.7 times higher risk of developing all prostate cancers and 5.2 times higher risk of developing intermediate- or high-risk disease.

Siddiqui remarked that it is important to keep in mind that the chance of developing intermediate- or high-risk prostate cancer is low, as 95% of men with a history of testicular cancer will not develop the disease.

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