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Testicular cancer incidence rates have more than doubled in the last 40 years

Survival rates increased by 40% during the same period

What are male cancers?

The theme for this month’s cancer short story is male cancers. There are a number of awareness campaigns that take place in June to raise the profile of issues surrounding these diseases. The term male cancers refers to cancers of the prostate, testis, penis and other parts of the male genital organs. In March the Office for National Statistics published a prostate cancer summary to coincide with Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. Here we will focus on the other male cancers, particularly testicular cancer.

Testicular cancer rates have risen but mortality rates have fallen

Testicular cancer differs from other male cancers as it is much more common in younger men. In fact it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men under 40. Figure 1 shows that in 2010, 62% of newly diagnosed cases of testicular cancer in England were in men under 40, compared with 3% for the less common male cancers and less than 0.1% for prostate cancer.

Incidence rates for testicular cancer in England have more than doubled in the last 40 years from 2.8 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 men in 1971 to 7.2 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 men in 2010. This equates to 1,780 newly diagnosed cases of testicular cancer in 2010, of which 62% were in men under 40. In the same period mortality rates for testicular cancer decreased from around one death per 100,000 men in 1971 to just over 0.2 deaths per 100,000 men in 2010. There were 60 deaths from testicular cancer registered in 2010, and 43% of these were men under 40.

Figure 1: Age distribution for those diagnosed with each of the male cancers, England, 2010

Figure 1: Age distribution for those diagnosed with each of the male cancers, England, 2010
Source: Office for National Statistics

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The most recent five-year survival estimate for those diagnosed with testicular cancer in England was 97% surviving for at least five years after diagnosis (ONS, 2012). Survival of testicular cancer has increased about 40% over the past 40 years. Five-year survival estimates for those diagnosed in 1971-1975 and followed up to 1995 was 69%. Advances in treatment and increased awareness account for improvements in survival and mortality for those diagnosed with testicular cancer (Coleman et al, 1999; Cancer Research UK, 2012).

The incidence of less common male cancers

The less common male cancers include cancer of the penis, scrotum and connecting tubes. In 2010, 468 men were diagnosed with these less common male cancers, and 75 men died from these cancers. This equates to 1.5 newly diagnosed cases per 100,000 men and 0.2 deaths per 100,000 men. Incidence and mortality rates for these cancers have not changed dramatically since 1971. 

References

Cancer  Research UK (2012). Testicular Cancer Survival Statistics.

Coleman MP, Babb P, Damiecki P, Grosclaude P, Honjo S, Jones J, et al. (1999). Cancer survival trends in England and Wales, 1971-1995: deprivation and NHS region. London: Stationery Office. 

Office for National Statistics (2012). Cancer survival in England: patients diagnosed 2006-2010 and followed up to 2011.

Office for National Statistics (2013). Prostate cancer: the most common cancer in men in England, 2010.

 

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Categories: Health and Social Care, Health of the Population, Conditions and Diseases, Cancer, Cancer Registrations
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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