Late onset of puberty is associated with a decreased risk for testicular cancer, according to a recent meta-analysis. Early onset had no effect on the risk.

In analyses of data from 12 case-controlled studies, Milena Maule, MD, of the University of Turin in Turin, Italy, and colleagues found that, compared with men who started shaving at the same age as their peers, those who started shaving later had a 16% decreased likelihood of testicular cancer.

In addition, compared with men who experienced voice changes at the same age as their peers, those who had late voice changes had a 13% decreased risk. When the researchers looked at self-reported onset of puberty, they found that late onset was associated with a 33% decreased risk of testicular cancer, the researchers reported online in the International Journal of Andrology.

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“Our findings suggest that testicular cancer risk is modified by post-natal risk factors,” they concluded.