NOV 26, 2020 7:30 AM PST

Routine Diagnostic Tests Linked to a 59 Percent Increase in Testicular Cancer Risk

WRITTEN BY: Tara Fernandez

New research has revealed that exposure to radiation from diagnostic procedures such as X-rays could contribute to an elevated risk of developing testicular cancer. The University of Pennsylvania’s Katherine L. Nathanson was the senior author of the study, published in PLOS ONE.

“The steady rise in testicular germ cell tumor (TGCT) cases over the past three or four decades suggests there is an environmental exposure risk at play, but no definitive risk factor has ever been identified,” commented Nathanson.

The data gathered by Nathanson and the team suggest that the repeated exposure to diagnostic radiation to the lower half of the anatomy contributes to an increased risk of TGCT incidence.

High-energy radiation, including x-rays, can lead to cancer by damaging cells’ DNA. Despite having protective repair mechanisms to remove and replace these damaged DNA segments, over time, genetic mutations can accumulate and lead to malignancies.

 

 

Testicular cancer is relatively rare and makes up only around 1 percent of all cancers in men. However, among young men aged between the ages of 15 and 40, testicular cancer is the most commonly diagnosed malignancy, with TGCT accounting for many of these cases. An estimated 9,500 cases of TGCT will be diagnosed by the end of the year.

Nathanson and team conducted a study that observed nearly 1,300 adult men with and without a testicular cancer diagnosis, gathering information on various risk factors for cancer development through surveys. Tissue biopsies of testicular cancer masses were also collected.

Analysis of the data highlighted that those participants who reported at least three exposures to X-rays and CT scans below the waist correlated with a 59 percent increase in testicular cancer risk compared to men who did not undergo such diagnostic procedures.

“If our results are validated, efforts to reduce medically unnecessary and avoidable testicular exposure should be considered, in part through efforts to reduce radiation dose and optimize shielding practices when appropriate,” wrote the authors.

 

Sources: PLOS One, Penn Medicine News.


 

About the Author
  • Tara Fernandez has a PhD in Cell Biology and has spent over a decade uncovering the molecular basis of diseases ranging from skin cancer to obesity and diabetes. She currently works on developing and marketing disruptive new technologies in the biotechnology industry. Her areas of interest include innovation in molecular diagnostics, cell therapies, and immunology. She actively participates in various science communication and public engagement initiatives to promote STEM in the community.
You May Also Like
SEP 25, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Ray of Hope: Rare Cancer Biomarker Discovered
SEP 25, 2020
Ray of Hope: Rare Cancer Biomarker Discovered
Biliary tract cancer, or BTC, isn’t as talked about as breast or prostate cancers, probably because its incidence ...
OCT 15, 2020
Cardiology
Measuring Pulse Transit Time as a Replacement for the Inflatable Cuff
OCT 15, 2020
Measuring Pulse Transit Time as a Replacement for the Inflatable Cuff
Many people deal with one disease or another every day of their life. Most require checking on things like blood sugar f ...
NOV 05, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Digging DEEP into Metabolomic Space
NOV 05, 2020
Digging DEEP into Metabolomic Space
Metabolomics is an umbrella term encompassing lipidomics and the study of smaller polar metabolites.  As such, more ...
NOV 06, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Your Earwax Says You're Depressed
NOV 06, 2020
Your Earwax Says You're Depressed
Cortisol, commonly known as the “stress hormone”, is the body’s built-in alarm system that sends siren ...
NOV 15, 2020
Neuroscience
Hearing Test Can Predict Autism in Newborns
NOV 15, 2020
Hearing Test Can Predict Autism in Newborns
For some time now, researchers have been aware that children and adults with autism tend to have different sensory syste ...
DEC 15, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Who Should Get the COVID Vaccine First?
DEC 15, 2020
Who Should Get the COVID Vaccine First?
Drug developers’ frantic hunt for vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 has finally begun to bear fruit, with several vaccin ...
Loading Comments...