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Scrotal cancer in the north-west of England, 1962-68
  1. W. R. Lee,
  2. M. R. Alderson1,
  3. Jean E. Downes
  1. Department of Occupational Health, University of Manchester
  2. Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, University of Manchester


    Lee, W. R., Alderson, M. R., and Downes, J. E. (1972).Brit. J. industr. Med.,29, 188-195. Scrotal cancer in the north-west of England, 1962-68. During the seven years 1962 to 1968 there were 103 cases of scrotal cancer reported to the Manchester Regional Cancer Registry. It was possible to obtain reasonably full occupational histories concerning 89 of these cases either from the men themselves or from close relatives. Fifty-one had been mule spinners, 40 of whom had worked in no other industry with a hazard of scrotal cancer, but the other 11 had. Another 19 men had never been mule spinners but had worked in occupations with a recognized hazard of this condition. Of the remainder, 14 had worked in occupations with a possible risk, although perhaps not generally recognized as such, and in five no clear cause was apparent. Because of the small numbers, it was possible to compare the observed and expected incidences only in broad occupational groups and these showed a statistically significant excess (P<0·001) only in textile workers and unskilled workers. However, our findings, taken with those of earlier workers, suggest that further attention might be given to four other groups, namely, automatic lathe operators, road workers, dye workers, and chain makers.

    Cancer of the scrotum tends to be a disease of the elderly. In 42% of men (other than mule spinners) scrotal cancer developed after the men had passed the age of retirement and therefore too late for routine medical examination at the workplace to be of any value. Fifty of the men had died, but scrotal cancer was registered as the underlying cause in only 19 and appeared on the death certificate in a further four.

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    • 1 Now at Department of Medical Information Science, University of Southampton