A new study says that there may be a link between testicular cancer and marijuana use.
Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington show that there may be a 70 percent higher risk of developing an aggressive form of testicular cancer if the patient smokes marijuana. These results were shown in patients that had been smoking marijuana at the time of their diagnosis.
“Our study is not the first to suggest that some aspect of a man's lifestyle or environment is a risk factor for testicular cancer, but it is the first that has looked at marijuana use,” said Stephen M. Schwartz M.P.H, Ph.D, author of the study.
They also found that the risk was higher in men that used marijuana every week or in those that had been exposed to the drug in their earlier years.
“What young men should know is that first, we know very little about the long term health consequences of marijuana smoking, especially heavy use; and second, our study provides more evidence that testicular cancer could be one adverse consequence,” said Schwartz. “So, in the absence of more certain information, a decision to smoke marijuana recreationally means that one is taking a chance on one's future health.”
The researchers interviewed 369 men ages 18-44 that had been diagnosed with testicular tumors. These men were asked about their marijuana use, smoking and drinking habits. Their answers were compared to a control group of healthy men.
Even after ruling out the participants other habits, the study showed that marijuana use was linked to a higher risk of testicular cancer.
While the researchers state that their findings are not set in stone, they do say that this opens the door for further research concerning marijuana use.
“Our study is the first inkling that marijuana use may be associated with testicular cancer, and we still have a lot of unanswered questions,” said Schwartz.
This research has been published in the journal Cancer.
Source: Medical News Today