Host Factors, Occupation, and Testicular Cancer in Saskatchewan, Canada: 1979-2002

Journal of Agricultural Safety and Health
  • Ghosh, Sunita;
  • McDuffie, Helen H.;
  • Pahwa, Punam;
  • Quail, Jacqueline


The incidence rates of testicular cancer are increasing in several countries, especially among younger adults. The role of agricultural exposure in the etiology of testicular cancer is contentious. We extracted information related to the host, lifestyle, and tumor characteristics from the files of the Saskatchewan Cancer Agency for all cases (N = 517) of testicular cancer diagnosed in Saskatchewan between 1979 and 2000. The following questions were the subject of this initial inquiry: (1) Are tumor characteristics similar or different among occupational groups dichotomized into farmer/nonfarmer? (2) Are host characteristics similar or different among occupational groups? (3) Is farming as an occupation one of the independent predictors of tumor stage at diagnosis? Statistical analyses were restricted on 486 cases. The nonfarmers (N = 349) had smaller tumors in length on average, and more of them were diagnosed at stage 1 compared to farmers (N = 72). Occupation was not recorded for 65 cases. Farmers were older than nonfarmers. In logistic regression analyses with adjustment for relevant variables as cited in the literature, individuals with nonseminomas [OR, (95% CI): 1.99 (1.30-3.31)] and <26 years old at diagnosis [2.12 (1.15-3.93)] were significantly more likely to be diagnosed with a stage 2 or higher tumor. Farmers were significantly more likely than nonfarmers to be diagnosed at stage 2 or higher [1.76 (1.00-3.10)]. Based on our data, the significant predictors of being diagnosed with stage 2 and higher are: presence of nonseminoma, <26 years old, and farming as an occupation.

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