Say Fewer Men Dying of Testicular Cancer
and more effective treatments mean that deaths from testicular cancer
are decreasing worldwide, despite a rise in the number of new cases
of the illness, researchers reported on Friday.
published in The Lancet medical journal, showed that chemotherapy
treatment could help to reduce death rates for the most common cancer
among men aged 25 to 29.
cancer is a classic example of cancer that is generally curable
when the right treatment is given," said Professor Peter Boyle of
Britain's Imperial Cancer Research Fund, a co-author of the report.
"In spite of
the number of cases increasing, deaths from testicular cancer have
been declining in North America and Western Europe since the late
70s," he added. Death rates from the disease in men younger than
45 fell by about a third in the late 1980s compared to the 1970s.
Cases of testicular cancer, which affects one in 500 men, had been
increasing since the 1930s. Denmark, Switzerland and Norway have
the highest rates in the world.
in the United States in the 1960s, deaths from the illness have
dropped by over 70%. In most of Europe deaths have declined by 67%
since the 1970s. But in Eastern European nations the decline is
only 22%--behind the United States, Japan and most of the rest of
Europe. "We must find out why testicular cancer death rates are
so different in central and Eastern Europe," Boyle said, "otherwise
there will continue to be several hundred preventable deaths occurring
every year." The researchers said their results indicate widespread
inconsistencies in adequate treatments in central and Eastern Europe.
If money is the problem, they suggested that urgent measures are
needed to ensure that the best treatment is available to everyone.
is curable in 90% of cases if it is caught and treated early. Symptoms
include a lump or sore on the testicle, pain or soreness, a persistent
cough, blood in the urine and stomach and bowel problems. Scientists
suspect exposure to high levels of the female hormone oestrogen
in the womb could be part of the reason for the increase in the
disease. Familial testicular cancers account for an estimated 20%
of cases. There are also more cases among first-born sons and non-identical