Poorer Men More Likely to Die of Testicular Cancer

Testicular cancer diagnosis and mortality impacted by socioeconomic factors

/ Author:  / Reviewed by: Joseph V. Madia, MD

(RxWiki News) When caught early, testicular cancer has one of the highest survival rates - nearly 100 percent with the right treatment. But what are the factors relating to diagnosis and long-term survival? New research uncovers disparities.

Men who come from lower socioeconomic circumstances appear to be more vulnerable to being diagnosed with testicular cancer and less likely to survive the disease.

"Men, learn to screen yourself for testicular cancer."

Researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reviewed 65 papers published between 1966 and 2011 relating to testicular cancer, poverty and socioeconomic factors. They examined the impact of a man's socioeconomic position (SEP) - occupation, education, income and combinations of these three factors - on the risk factors, diagnosis, treatment, survival and survivorship of testicular cancer.

The papers were mixed in terms of risk factors, some showing that men with higher socioeconomic status were at higher risk. Recent papers contradict this, saying that men with lower SEP are at higher risk.

Recently published papers have linked lower levels of education and SEP with an increased risk for being diagnosed with more advanced testicular cancer. The later diagnosis, in turn, leads to lower survival.

The team also found that men living in counties with lower educational levels tended not to receive radiation therapy, a standard testicular cancer treatment method.

Survival and survivorship were also lower among men with lower SEP.

Authors conclude that more study is need to address disparities in testicular cancer diagnosis, treatment and survival so that interventions can be designed to close the gaps.

This study was published in the November 23, 2011 issue of Urologic Oncology.

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Review Date: 
December 2, 2011
Last Updated:
December 5, 2011