New Genetic Links To Testicular Cancer Found

Testicular Cancer DNA

Although we post a lot of fun and funny stuff on this site, you should never forget that we’re really here for one reason: to fight testicular cancer. We constantly remind you to check your balls for any abnormalities and see a doctor the instant you find one. Testicular cancer is the #1 form of the disease in young males, and at the Sean Kimerling Foundation we’re devoted to making sure it doesn’t claim any more lives.

That’s why this new report from the Institute of Cancer Research is so important – and so chilling. The root causes of cancer are still somewhat mysterious. We know that uncontrolled cell growth can be spurred by a variety of stimuli, from radiation to diet. Now, scientists at the ICR feel confident in saying that there is a significant genetic element as well.

After conducting the largest detailed study ever to explore testicular germ cell tumours, they concluded that in at least 49% of cases, there is a prior genetic determinant that indicated the patient would develop testicular cancer. The studies examined detailed genetic information from 6,000 British cancer patients, as well as statistical information from Sweden’s patient database.

Their conclusion? Genetic markers are a severe indicator of potential for testicular cancer. Interestingly enough, it’s not a single gene defect to blame, though. Instead, a panoply of smaller variations across your DNA sequence accumulate to create the risk.

Dr. Claire Turnbull, the Senior Researcher for Genetics and Epidemiology in charge of the study, stated “Our study has shown that testicular cancer is a strongly heritable disease. Around half of a man’s risk of developing testicular cancer comes from the genes he inherits from his parents – with environmental and behavioural factors contributing to the other half.”

What does this mean for you? If you’re checking your balls every month, good. If you’re not – especially if you have a cancer patient in the family – you need to be. That’s the bottom line.