London (Agencies): A new study has claimed that men at 40 years or older detected with testicular cancer have double the risk of dying from the disease compared to younger patients.

Researchers at the University of Rochester Medical Center in the US took into consideration nearly 28,000 men and interpreted that mortality was doubled in patients diagnosed over the age of 40.

This was proved to be true even when initial treatment and the extent of the disease were taken into account, according to the study based on data from a US cancer statistics survey, reportedly.

Dr Lois Travis and colleagues for the study calculated hazard ratios for 10-year testicular cancer mortality.

While mortality was doubled in patients diagnosed over the age of 40, those diagnosed after 1987 were less likely to die during follow-up than men diagnosed earlier, probably due to the introduction of a type of chemotherapy in the late seventies, the researchers said.

"This study comprehensively documents, for the first time, to our knowledge, the effect of age on TC-specific mortality, while taking into account disease characteristics, treatment factors and socio demographic variables," said Dr Travis.

Numerous factors may be taken into account for the age-related mortality difference, including the fact that many older patients are often not treated with the same intensity as younger patients, the researchers said.

They however said questions remained unanswered about whether their results showed poorer patients had less access to optimal health care and whether they were less likely to opt for invasive treatments.

The researchers suggested giving more attention to the care of older patients as well as those of people of lower socio economic status for the best results.

The researchers said, "In a cancer that is so highly curable, any influence that confers an increased risk of disease-specific mortality must be identified, and interventional strategies adopted."

The study has been published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.