New study says testicular cancer may raise prostate cancer risk

ccording to a new study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, men who have had testicular cancer may have an increased risk for prostate cancer. While there have been previous studies that have shown an increased risk of prostate cancer in men who have previously had testicular cancer, this is the first one to observe the risk of getting intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer.


Dr. Mohummad Minhaj Siddigui, lead study author and assistant professor of surgery at the University of Maryland School of Medicine said, “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.”

The study analyzed SEER data from about 180,000 American men; 32, 325 of the men were age 40 and up and previously had testicular cancer and 147,044 men were age 40 and up and had previously had melanoma.

The results showed that 12.6 percent, or 3,205 of the participants who previously had testicular cancer were diagnosed with prostate cancer by age 80. This was in comparison to 2.8 percent of participants who did not have a history of testicular cancer.

Men who previously had testicular cancer were 5.8 percent more likely to get intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer, compared to 1.1 percent of men who did not have testicular cancer. Overall, men with a history of testicular cancer had a 4.7 times higher risk for prostate cancer and a 5.2 times higher risk for intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer.

Researchers looked at risk factors such as race, age, and history of radiation. They found that even when these risk factors were controlled, there was still an increased risk for intermediate or high-risk prostate cancer in men who previously had testicular cancer. 

“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,” said Dr. Siddiqui.

Testicular cancer key statistics:

  • In 2015, it is estimated that there will be about 8,430 new cases of testicular cancer will be diagnosed and about 380 men will die of testicular cancer
  • Testicular cancer is not common; about 1 of every 263 men will develop testicular cancer at some point during his life
  • The average age at the time of diagnosis is about 33 years old
  • Young and middle-aged men are most often affected; about 7 percent of cases occur in children and teens, and about 7 percent of cases occur in men over the age of 55
  • Testicular cancer is highly treatable; a man’s lifetime risk of dying from testicular cancer is low: about 1 in 5,000

Prostate cancer key statistics:

  • Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer in American men, other than skin cancer. 
  • Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in men. 
  • About 1 in 7 men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in their lifetime. 
  • The average age of diagnosis is 66. 
  • Prostate cancer is very rare in men younger than 40, but the risk of developing prostate cancer significantly increases after age 50. About 6 in 10 cases of prostate cancer are found in men over the age of 65.
  • It is estimated that in 2015, there will be about 220,800 new cases of prostate cancer diagnosed. 
  • African American men are 70 percent more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer.
  • Having a father or brother with prostate cancer more than doubles a man’s risk of developing the disease. The risk is much higher for men with multiple relatives with a history of the disease.
  • Obesity and metabolic syndrome can increase risk by 57 percent; they can also mean increased prostate cancer tumor volume and recovery risks.
  • For now, the PSA test is the best way to establish a prostate health baseline; men should have a baseline PSA test starting at age 40.
  • Robotic prostate surgery remains a leading treatment option, with highly successful recovery and quality of life results when performed by an experienced surgeon.