Cancer risk in men exposed in utero to diethylstilbestrol.

Published

Journal Article

BACKGROUND: An association between prenatal diethylstilbestrol (DES) exposure and cancer in men, especially testicular cancer, has been suspected, but findings from case-control studies have been inconsistent. This study was conducted to investigate the association between prenatal DES exposure and cancer risk in men via prospective follow-up. METHODS: A total of 3613 men whose prenatal DES exposure status was known were followed from 1978 through 1994. The overall and site-specific cancer incidence rates among the DES-exposed men were compared with those of the unexposed men in the study and with population-based rates. The relative rate (RR) was used to assess the strength of the association between prenatal DES exposure and cancer development. All statistical tests were two-sided. RESULTS: Overall cancer rates among DES-exposed men were similar to those among unexposed men (RR = 1.07; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.58 to 1.96) and to national rates (RR = 0.99; 95% CI = 0.65 to 1.44). Testicular cancer may be elevated among DES-exposed men, since the RRs for testicular cancer were 3.05 (95% CI = 0.65 to 22.0) times those of unexposed men in the study and 2.04 (95% CI = 0.82 to 4.20) times those of males in the population-based rates. The higher rate of testicular cancer in the DES-exposed men is, however, also compatible with a chance observation. CONCLUSIONS: To date, men exposed to DES in utero do not appear to have an increased risk of most cancers. It remains uncertain, however, whether prenatal DES exposure is associated with testicular cancer.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Strohsnitter, WC; Noller, KL; Hoover, RN; Robboy, SJ; Palmer, JR; Titus-Ernstoff, L; Kaufman, RH; Adam, E; Herbst, AL; Hatch, EE

Published Date

  • April 4, 2001

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 93 / 7

Start / End Page

  • 545 - 551

PubMed ID

  • 11287449

Pubmed Central ID

  • 11287449

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0027-8874

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/jnci/93.7.545

Language

  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States