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High Dairy Product Intake Associated With an Increased Testicular Cancer Risk

High Dairy Product Intake Associated With an Increased Testicular Cancer Risk

Wednesday, October 15th 2003

Canadian men who have high levels of dairy product consumption have an increased risk of testicular cancer, according to the results of a study published in the October 10th issue of the International Journal of Cancer.

"Although testicular cancer is a relatively rare lesion, accounting for only 1.1% of all malignant neoplasms in males in Canada, it is the most common cancer among Canadian men 20 to 45 years of age," Dr. Michael J. Garner, of the University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues write.

The researchers obtained data from 601 patients with testicular cancer and 744 population-based controls to examine the association between dietary intake and the risk of testicular cancer. They used a 69-item food-frequency questionnaire to collect data on 17 food groups, 15 nutrients, and 4 individual foods.

Of the 601 cases, 361 (58.7%) had seminomas and 168 (27.3%) had non-seminomas. Eighty-six cases (14.0%) were classified as having "other" or missing morphological codes.

Subjects who consumed high levels of dairy products had an increased risk of testicular cancer. A high intake of cheese was strongly associated with testicular cancer (odds ratio [OR] = 1.87; p < 0.001).

"Luncheon meat intake was associated significantly with testicular cancer risk in the total sample and in the highest intake quintile (OR = 1.49) and in the non-seminoma subgroups (OR = 2.11)," Dr. Garner and colleagues explain. "Consistent results were observed for baked products in all three histological groups: total sample (OR = 1.47; p = 0.01), seminomas (OR = 1.34; p = 0.04), non-seminomas (OR = 2.09; p = 0.01)."

The investigators report that none of the nutrients were associated with the risk of testicular cancer. Carbohydrate intake was marginally significantly associated with testicular cancer risk in the non-seminoma group (p = 0.05).

"Our study adds significantly to the sparse literature on dietary risk factors for testicular cancer," the authors write. "Although the present study provides evidence of increased risk in relation to the consumption of dairy products, the role of diet in testicular cancer etiology requires further research."

Source: International Journal of Cancer 2003;106:934-941

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