One cancer that is primarily affected by the human sex hormones is testicular cancer. Although relatively rare, incidence is increasing in Europe with rates estimated to be doubling every 30 years. In Denmark, where rates are high, nearly 1% of men can expect to contract the disease.
The case of testicular cancer’s causes being related to chemicals exposures is important because, since it primarily affects young men, its rising incidence cannot be put down to the fact that Europe is aging. Nor can the rising figures for this cancer be due to better screening as no screening programme is in place.
The origin of testicular cancer may be during fetal development. Prenatal exposure to endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) that interfere with the hormone signalling pathways regulating fetal development might affect the development of the testes and eventually lead to testicular cancer later in life.