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How Can PFAS Cause Testicular Cancer?
Studies on laboratory animals have found that exposure to PFAS “forever chemicals” may increase the risk of tumors in the testicles, liver, mammary glands (breasts), and pancreas.
Researchers have looked at cancer rates in people living near or working in chemical plants that produce PFAS and found an increased risk of testicular cancer and kidney cancer associated with PFAS exposure.
Studies have also identified a potential link to thyroid cancer; however, the increased risk has been found to be small and could be due to chance.
Testicular Cancer and AFFF
AFFF is a toxic fire suppressant that contains between 50% and 98% PFAS. While nearly all people in the United States have these toxic chemicals in their blood, firefighters have significantly greater concentrations, placing them at an increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Cancer is the leading cause of death among military and civilian firefighters, and the use of AFFF is the primary contributor.
Related Article: PFAS Lawsuit Update
PFAS on Military Bases
All branches of the U.S. armed forces have been using AFFF fire suppressant foam for nearly 50 years. In addition to industrial chemicals used by active producers, ongoing sources of PFAS pollution include chemical-based firefighting foam used on military bases, airports, and fire departments. Thousands of military personnel and their families are suffering from severe diseases due to PFAS contained in firefighting foam.
Related Articles: Military Sites Contaminated With PFAS
What is Testicular Cancer?
Testicular cancer refers to the growth of cells that starts in the testicles. The testicles are made up of many types of cells, each of which can develop into one or more types of cancer.
More than 90% of cancers of the testicle start in cells called germ cells. These are the cells that make sperm. The main types of germ cell tumors (GCTs) in the testicles are known as seminomas and non-seminomas.
Testicular Cancer Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of testicular cancer may include:
- A lump or swelling in either testicle
- A feeling of heaviness in the scrotum
- A dull ache in the lower belly or groin
- Sudden swelling in the scrotum
- Pain or discomfort in a testicle or the scrotum
- Enlargement or tenderness of the breast tissue
- Back pain
Testicular cancer is highly treatable, even when it spreads to other areas of the body. Treatments depend on the type of testicular cancer and how far it has migrated. Common treatments include surgery and chemotherapy.
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