Testicular cancer survivors have a slightly higher risk of dying of noncancer causes than the general population. Men who received chemotherapy after 1974 are at particularly high risk, according to new research published in the April 4 Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
Although survival rates for men with testicular cancer have greatly improved, some physicians worry that the treatments for testicular cancer could increase patients’ risk for other health problems, such as second cancers, heart disease, and infertility.
Sophie Fosså, M.D., Ph.D., of the University of Oslo in Norway, and colleagues examined the risk of noncancer deaths in 38,907 testicular cancer patients who had survived for at least one year post-diagnosis. After a median follow-up of 10 years, 2,942 patients had died from noncancer causes, an increase of six percent relative to the noncancer deaths in the general population. Patients treated with chemotherapy in 1975 or later had higher risks of dying from all noncancer causes, infections, circulatory diseases and respiratory diseases. Men who were diagnosed before age 35, regardless of treatments, were also at higher risk of death from all causes, infections, and circulatory diseases.
"Additional long-term follow-up studies of testicular cancer patients that include detailed information on treatment and comorbid conditions will be required to adequately assess the incidence of the [secondary complications] of testicular cancer and its treatments…In the interim, clinicians and patients should be aware of recently published strategies for the long-term medical care of testicular cancer survivors," the authors write.
Note: The Journal of the National Cancer Institute is published by Oxford University Press and is not affiliated with the National Cancer Institute.
Materials provided by Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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