Marijuana Use Linked to Higher Risk of Testicular Cancer

Marijuana Use Linked to Higher Risk of Testicular Cancer
Marijuana Use Linked to Higher Risk of Testicular Cancer

Marijuana use is associated with an approximately two-fold higher risk of testicular cancer, particularly nonseminoma and mixed histology tumors, new findings suggest.

John Charles A. Lacson, of the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues compared self-reported use of marijuana and other recreational drugs in 163 men diagnosed with testicular germ cell tumors and in 292 matched controls.

Compared with never using drugs, and after adjusting for a number of factors, the researchers found that use of marijuana was associated with a 90% increased risk of testicular cancer, whereas cocaine use was associated with a 46% decreased risk, according to an online report in Cancer. Marijuana use was associated with 2.4 times increased risk of nonseminoma and mixed histology tumors.

"We conclude that marijuana use is associated with an elevated risk of testicular germ cell tumor, especially nonseminoma or mixed histology tumors," Lacson and colleagues wrote. "This consistent finding across three epidemiologic studies now warrants mechanistic research investigating biologic processes whereby constituents of marijuana smoke may influence testicular carcinogenesis."

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