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Testicular Cancer Rate Rising Among Young Latinos

Testicular cancer is on the rise among young Latinos, according to a new study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, University Of Washington and Seattle Children’s Hospital. The study also shows the rate among young Hispanic Americans is catching up to whites.

Testicular cancer is most common among young white males. But when pediatric oncologist Rebecca Johnson and her colleagues analyzed national data, they found that rates among young Latinos increased by 58 percent over the last 19 years.

The data showed what clinicians were seeing.

“Before publishing this article, we talked to several different oncologists who specialize in testicular cancer in young adults to see if they had a clinical impression that the incidence among young Hispanics was increasing,” Johnson said. “In fact, the people who treat testicular cancer for a living everyday, did think, upon reflection that they were seeing more Hispanics than they used to.”

Researchers don’t know what’s behind the increase, but they have identified risk factors: height, family history and marijuana use are among them. Johnson is not recommending additional screening, but she does advise young men see a doctor if they note any unusual changes in their bodies. Testicular cancer is treatable.

The study is published online in Cancer, a journal of the American Cancer Society.

Year started with KUOW: 1994