Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of brjcancerBJC HomepageBJC Advance online publicationBJC Current IssueSubmitting an article to BJCWeb feeds
Br J Cancer. 1987 May; 55(5): 571–577.
PMCID: PMC2001733

Prenatal and familial associations of testicular cancer.


In a case-control study of testis cancer 259 cases with testicular cancer, 238 controls treated at radiotherapy centres and 251 non-radiotherapy hospital in-patient controls were interviewed about some possible prenatal and familial risk factors for the tumour. For firstborn men, the risk of testis cancer increased significantly according to maternal age at the subject's birth, and this effect was most marked for seminoma. The association with maternal age was not apparent for cases other than firstborn. The risk of testis cancer was also significantly raised for men from small sibships and of early birth order. These results accord with the theory that raised maternal levels of available oestrogen during the early part of pregnancy are aetiological for testicular cancer in the son, although other explanations are possible; there is evidence that seminoma risk may particularly be affected.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.3M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Anderson KC, Li FP, Marchetto DJ. Dizygotic twinning, cryptorchism, and seminoma in a sibship. Cancer. 1984 Jan 15;53(2):374–376. [PubMed]
  • Bernstein L, Pike MC, Ross RK, Judd HL, Brown JB, Henderson BE. Estrogen and sex hormone-binding globulin levels in nulliparous and parous women. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1985 Apr;74(4):741–745. [PubMed]
  • Coldman AJ, Elwood JM, Gallagher RP. Sports activities and risk of testicular cancer. Br J Cancer. 1982 Nov;46(5):749–756. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Czeizel A. Epidemiologic characteristics of congenital inguinal hernia. Helv Paediatr Acta. 1980 Mar;35(1):57–67. [PubMed]
  • Depue RH. Maternal and gestational factors affecting the risk of cryptorchidism and inguinal hernia. Int J Epidemiol. 1984 Sep;13(3):311–318. [PubMed]
  • Depue RH, Pike MC, Henderson BE. Estrogen exposure during gestation and risk of testicular cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1983 Dec;71(6):1151–1155. [PubMed]
  • Geschwind N, Behan P. Left-handedness: association with immune disease, migraine, and developmental learning disorder. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1982 Aug;79(16):5097–5100. [PubMed]
  • Henderson BE, Powell D, Rosario I, Keys C, Hanisch R, Young M, Casagrande J, Gerkins V, Pike MC. An epidemiologic study of breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1974 Sep;53(3):609–614. [PubMed]
  • Henderson BE, Benton B, Jing J, Yu MC, Pike MC. Risk factors for cancer of the testis in young men. Int J Cancer. 1979 May 15;23(5):598–602. [PubMed]
  • Henderson BE, Ross RK, Pike MC, Casagrande JT. Endogenous hormones as a major factor in human cancer. Cancer Res. 1982 Aug;42(8):3232–3239. [PubMed]
  • Li FP, Fraumeni JF. Testicular cancers in children: epidemiologic characteristics. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1972 Jun;48(6):1575–1581. [PubMed]
  • Loughlin JE, Robboy SJ, Morrison AS. Risk factors for cancer of the testis. N Engl J Med. 1980 Jul 10;303(2):112–113. [PubMed]
  • MILHAM S., Jr PITUITARY GONADOTROPHIN AND DIZYGOTIC TWINNING. Lancet. 1964 Sep 12;2(7359):566–566. [PubMed]
  • Morrison AS. Some social and medical characteristics of Army men with testicular cancer. Am J Epidemiol. 1976 Nov;104(5):511–516. [PubMed]
  • Rothman KJ, MacMahon B, Lin TM, Lowe CR, Mirra AP, Ravnihar B, Salber EJ, Trichopoulos D, Yuasa S. Maternal age and birth rank of women with breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1980 Oct;65(4):719–722. [PubMed]
  • Schottenfeld D, Warshauer ME, Sherlock S, Zauber AG, Leder M, Payne R. The epidemiology of testicular cancer in young adults. Am J Epidemiol. 1980 Aug;112(2):232–246. [PubMed]
  • Standfast SJ. Birth characteristics of women dying from breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1967 Jul;39(1):33–42. [PubMed]
  • Swerdlow AJ, Huttly SR, Smith PG. Testicular cancer and antecedent diseases. Br J Cancer. 1987 Jan;55(1):97–103. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Tollerud DJ, Blattner WA, Fraser MC, Brown LM, Pottern L, Shapiro E, Kirkemo A, Shawker TH, Javadpour N, O'Connell K, et al. Familial testicular cancer and urogenital developmental anomalies. Cancer. 1985 Apr 15;55(8):1849–1854. [PubMed]
  • Trichopoulos D, Cole P, Brown JB, Goldman MB, MacMahon B. Estrogen profiles of primiparous and nulliparous women in Athens, Greece. J Natl Cancer Inst. 1980 Jul;65(1):43–46. [PubMed]
  • Uriel J, Dupiers M, Rimbaut C, Buffe D. Maternal serum levels of sex steroid-binding protein during pregnancy. Br J Obstet Gynaecol. 1981 Dec;88(12):1229–1232. [PubMed]
  • Whittemore AS, Paffenbarger RS, Jr, Anderson K, Lee JE. Early precursors of urogenital cancers in former college men. J Urol. 1984 Dec;132(6):1256–1261. [PubMed]

Articles from British Journal of Cancer are provided here courtesy of Cancer Research UK