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Testicular cancer

Men who have learning disabilities have a higher incidence of dying from cancer than men in the general population.
Testicular cancer

Men who have learning disabilities have a higher incidence of dying from cancer than men in the general population

Men who have learning disabilities on average die 13 years sooner than men in the general population, while women who have learning disabilities die 20 years sooner.

It has been previously thought that the main cause of premature death was cardiovascular disease. However, a study presented by scientists from the University of Birmingham has highlighted how testicular cancer causes high death rates among men who have learning disabilities.

By analysing NHS hospital databases to explore episodes of clinical need over a 14-year period, the researchers studied 158,138 men who have learning disabilities and found that a total of 331 had testicular cancer and 32 of the men died from the cancer. Men who have learning disabilities have a 1:10 incidence of dying

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Men who have learning disabilities have a higher incidence of dying from cancer than men in the general population


Picture: SPL

Men who have learning disabilities on average die 13 years sooner than men in the general population, while women who have learning disabilities die 20 years sooner.

It has been previously thought that the main cause of premature death was cardiovascular disease. However, a study presented by scientists from the University of Birmingham has highlighted how testicular cancer causes high death rates among men who have learning disabilities.

By analysing NHS hospital databases to explore episodes of clinical need over a 14-year period, the researchers studied 158,138 men who have learning disabilities and found that a total of 331 had testicular cancer and 32 of the men died from the cancer. Men who have learning disabilities have a 1:10 incidence of dying from the disease compared to a 1:36 chance of dying from testicular cancer in men in the general population.

The researchers cite that men who have learning disabilities may be less likely to self-examine and recognise the possible signs of testicular changes. They may also be less likely to visit the GP and engage with follow up treatments.

The prevalence of cancers has been thought to be low in people who have learning disabilities. However, because they are living longer, cancer is becoming more common.


Afshar M, Jackson-Spence F, De-Santis M et al (2017) Men with Learning Difficulties, Four Times More Likely to Die of Testicular Cancer. European Urology Supplement. 16,3, e1893. Presented to the European Association of Urology Congress 24-28 March 2017.eau17.uroweb.org/press/people-with-learning-difficulties-4-times-more-likely-to-die-of-testicular-cancer

Compiled by Stacey Atkinson, matron/manager-inpatient services for people with learning disabilities and lead nurse, St Mary’s Hospital, Leeds

 

 

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