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Testicular cancer has always been sort of an odd-ball in the world of cancer, particularly because it occurs disproportionately in younger men. The average occurrence for testicular cancer onset is around 30 years of age; 84 percent of all cases are aged 15-49 but just six percent occur in men over 60. To put that in perspective, a United Kingdom study found that more than a third of all cancers are in the elderly.
But a new study finds that the main cause of testicular cancer also contributes to its status as a unique cancer.
Researchers working in the U.S., U.K., Germany and Sweden used a two-pronged approach to investigate the degree to which testicular cancer was inherited. The first approach was using population analysis from the Swedish family-cancer database, where researchers had access to historical data from over 15 million cancer patients, 10,000 of whom had testicular cancer.
Their second approach was to analyze the genome of 6,000 men from the U.K., 1,000 of whom had testicular cancer. The results, published in the journal Scientific Reports, found that just under half (48.9 percent) of testicular cancers result from inheritance. Interestingly, the scientists found that the inherited cancer-causing genes were actually several small pieces of mutated DNA, rather than a specific gene (like the BRCA genes that are linked to breast and prostate cancer).
Read full, original post: Testicular Cancer Has Surprisingly High Rate of Inheritance