RISING rates of testicular cancer in Scandinavia have sparked an urgent search for chemicals in the environment that may be damaging baby boys.
Incidence of the usually uncommon malignancy is now almost 10 times the global average in Norway and Denmark, according to the International Agency for Research on Cancer in Lyon. Hundreds of chemicals, including drugs, pesticides and plastic materials, are being screened by scientists from Stockholm to Helsinki to find the cause.
The probe is focusing on compounds thought to interfere with hormone signaling called endocrine disrupters, which the United Nations said last month may be causing more diseases than previously thought. The European research may reveal why testicular cancer is increasing across the developed world.
‘‘We don’t know what it is, but we know that it must be something in the environment causing the increase,’’ said Olof Akre, a cancer epidemiologist at Stockholm’s Karolinska Institute, in an interview. ‘‘When it happens, it’s really a crisis for these men.’’…Read more