Last Modified: January 22, 2006
Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"
My father died of untreated testicular cancer at 63 years old. My brother was diagnosed and treated successfully 5 years ago for testicular cancer. What risk does that pose for myself (37 year-old female), for my younger brother, and for my son and nephews? There is very little info available on the web regarding familial risk, especially for female relatives.
David J Vaughn, MD, Medical Director of the Abramson Family Cancer Research Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine, Hematology-Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:
This is unclear at the present time. However, given the 2 direct family members who are affected, it is likely that there is some genetic component. There is an ongoing study being conducted at the NIH looking into the genetic links for families with multiple cases of testicular cancer. This study is including females. For more information about the study, visit this site: familial-testicular-cancer.cancer.gov
In addition, a visit to a geneticist who specializes in testicular cancer may help you to further evaluate the risk for your family members.