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Testicular Cancer Incidence Trends (& the Disturbing Connections)

From a 2008 testicular cancer study:
"Testicular cancer is the most diagnosed malignancy among young men age 15 to 34 years. 95% of tumors arising in the testes are Germ Cell Tumors (GCTs).
Incidence of testicular cancer continues to increase among US males. Between 1975 and 2004 the incidence rate for ages, 15−49 years increased 71.9%.  Black males demonstrated the highest increase in the annual percent change.
"A possible plausible explanation comes from gestational hormonal differences, namely differences in in-utero exposure to testosterone and estrogen, with increased risk of testicular cancer associated with elevated levels of estrogen in-utero." 
"There is a possibility that hormonal differences may act in concert with genetic, life style or environmental influences to initiate and promote testicular carcinogenesis."
Read the full study:
Testicular Cancer Incidence Trends in the United States, 1975−2004

The reason this post is tagged 'Childhood Cancer' is because Germ Cell Tumors occur in males & females of all ages; in females they present most often as ovarian cancer.  It is the cancer my daughter was diagnosed with nearly 5 years ago, when she was 10 years old.

Like most ovarian cancers, hers wasn't diagnosed until it had advanced to Stage 3. (click here for ovarian cancer symptoms)

Testicular cancers are often detected early because they are easier to notice. (this family-friendly video shows how to do a self-exam)

Unlike most ovarian cancers, which form on the surface (epithelial) of the ovary, GCTs  begin in the egg cells.  In males, germination cells are supposed to become sperm cells; they are the seeds of life itself.

In his recent book, "Avoidable Causes of Childhood Cancer", Dr. Samuel Epstein wrote this:
"The annual incidence of cancer for adolescents increased from 183 per million in 1979 to 204 per million in 1995." 
"The largest contributors to this increase were testicular & ovarian germ cell tumors."
In an effort to reassure me of how 'treatable' her cancer was, it was my daughter's oncologist who pointed out to me that she had the same type of cancer as Lance Armstrong.  Regardless of gender, germ cell tumors usually present in the gonads (testicles & ovaries); they are occasionally found in the lungs, brain or spine.  The vast majority of research on GCTs involves men; childhood cancer research has always been egregiously underfunded.

It is true that germ cell tumors have very successful treatment protocols.  The surgeries are very patient-specific; the chemotherapy (usually BEP) is the same regardless of age or gender, it is also among the harshest in regular use.  Thankfully, my daughter is approaching the '5 years cancer-free' milestone.

The next time you hear talk of BPA, pthalates & other endocrine disruptors, please remember this: these toxins are causing damage to the seeds of life itself; it cannot be repaired, it must be PREVENTED!

--> Learn more about the endocrine system.


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