A new analysis of national surveillance data from the National Cancer Institute shows the rate of testicular cancer rising among Hispanics to soon overtake whites as the racial-ethnic group with the highest incidence.

The testicular cancer rate among young Hispanic men ages 15-39 has grown 58 percent during the past generation, as rates for non-Hispanic whites remained flat, Rebecca Johnson of Seattle Children’s Hospital reports Sunday in the journal Cancer. After plumbing two separate datasets covering the 90’s and 2000-2010, the physician-researcher says the reasons for the rising testicular cancer rate remains mysterious, but of great importance to the country.

"Hispanic Americans comprise the fastest growing ethnic group in the United States. Until only recently, cancer incidence data for this population has been too sparse to accurately analyze testicular cancer trends among Hispanic men," Johnson said in a press statement. "The increasing rate of testicular cancer in adolescent and young adult Hispanic males, combined with the rapid expansion of the Hispanic population in the United States, is projected to have a measurable impact on the United States health care system."

Johnson and her colleagues found the annual incidence of testicular cancer among young Hispanics rose 58 percent from 7.18 cases per 100,000 in 1992 to 11.34 per 100,000 in 2010. During this 19-year study period, incidences of testicular germ cell tumor among young non-Hispanic white adults increased by 7 percent, from 12.41 to 13.22 per 100,000. Yet during the past decade, the rate of testicular cancers continued to rise among Hispanics while remaining stagnant among whites. Should the trend continue, Johnson said, Hispanics will soon overtake whites as the sub-group with the highest levels of testicular cancer.

This year, the American Cancer Society projects approximately 8,820 new cases of testicular cancer with 380 or so deaths. The average age of diagnosis for testicular cancer patients is 33, with only 6 percent of cases occurring in adolescents and another 7 percent occurring in men over age 55. Although sometimes fatal, testicular cancer may usually be treated successfully with a man’s lifetime risk of death from this cancer at about 1 in 5,000.

Source: Chien FL, Schwartz SM, Johnson RH. Increase in testicular germ cell tumor incidence among Hispanic adolescents and young adults in the United States. Cancer. 2014.