Testicular Cancer Among White Males

Being a white male of age 22 puts me at the most risk for testicular cancer. Testicular cancer is most prevalent among white males in my age group, especially compared with other races, specifically blacks. Here are a few graphs demonstrating this (these reflect the average percentage of life lost in the Greater Bay Area):

Average Percentage of Lifespan Lost Among White Males


Average Percentage of Lifespan Lost Amongt Black Males

(Source: http://www.cpic.org/site/c.skI0L6MKJpE/b.6148445/)

Even between these graphs you can see the disparity is very apparent. In fact, testicular cancer doesn’t even show up for black males in terms of lifespan lost. Keep note that these graphs don’t show the amount of each population that are diagnosed with testicular cancer, but simply the average percentage of lifespan lost due to various cancers. But it’s still noticeable that it means white males are much more susceptible to losing their lives due to testicular cancer, making it much more dangerous among my age and race group.

I believe there is such disparity because white males are among the more wealthy in the United States. They are also typically the ones that hold white-collar jobs, not usually manual-labor. And it has been shown that those that hold white-collar jobs are more likely to develop testicular cancer than those that have blue-collar jobs. It is also likely that, at least in the United States, blue-collar jobs are more often held by people of other races, meaning that they are less susceptible to testicular cancer. It shows that there is something within our culture leading to this particular health disparity, not necessarily genetic factors in my opinion. (Source: http://www.health.ny.gov/statistics/cancer/registry/abouts/testis.htm)

To me, race, genetics, and health can all be intertwined. In the first lecture we were shown a video about malaria and how genetics factor in. I believe this is a very good example of how these three elements are related. It shows that, due to years of dealing with the disease, people in the area had begun to build immunities to it. This has then been passed on through genetics. So, this race of people has built up an immunity over time because they have breed with each other and passed on the gene that allows for this. As a consequence, an outsider who has no immunities due to genetics is going to be very likely to contract the disease. This leads to health disparity because they are likely of a different race (or culture) and should the trend continue, races who are NOT native to the area are more likely to contract malaria due to similar circumstances.

1 thought on “Testicular Cancer Among White Males

  1. I agree with your comparison of health and genetics. In the sense that being exposed to environmental factors can cause people with advantageous genes to survive more abundantly, and therefore be able to pass on their genes more successfully than others whose survival rate was lessened due to their genes. However, I feel that your description of race was a bit ambiguous. I agree that in the case of areas infected with malaria certain races of people are more likely to develop sickle cell-caused resistance. But I was a bit confused what your definition of race was. Is race defined by culture, skin color, region? I feel like this accurately describes how race itself is ambiguous. It has no true definition because race is defined by society, something that is always changing. This brings me to the next question asked for our comments; are racial categories useful in medicine? I would say that the answer to that question is no. In all of the videos and articles this week we have explored how race can factor into health. But was race the only factor? Disease was attributed to class, status, environment. Race was merely attributing to these factors. Because it is socially constructed, one’s class, status, and environment are altered and therefore their medical care is as well. It’s a trickle down effect. I believe that to talk about racialized health disparities, one should not focus on race as the cause, rather as a symptom of societal influence. Disease is not caused due to race.

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