Marijuana use may increase risk of testicular cancer: study

A new study from the University of Southern California (USC) has found a link between recreational marijuana use and an increased risk of developing subtypes of testicular cancer that tend to carry a somewhat worse prognosis. Published early online in Cancer, a peer-reviewed journal of the American Cancer Society, the findings suggest that the potential cancer-causing effects of marijuana on testicular cells should be considered not only in personal decisions regarding recreational drug use, but also when marijuana and its derivatives are used for therapeutic purposes in young male patients.

is the most common cancer diagnosed in young men ages 15 to 45 years. The malignancy is becoming more common, and researchers suspect this is due to increasing exposure to unrecognized environmental causes.

To see if recreational drug use might play a role, Victoria Cortessis, MSPH, PhD, assistant professor of at the Keck School of Medicine of USC in Los Angeles, and her colleagues looked at the self-reported history of recreational drug use in 163 young men diagnosed with testicular cancer and compared it with that of 292 healthy men of the same age and race/ethnicity.

The investigators found that men with a history of using marijuana were twice as likely to have subtypes of testicular cancer called non-seminoma and mixed . These tumors usually occur in younger men and carry a somewhat worse prognosis than the seminoma subtype. The study's findings confirm those from two previous reports in Cancer on a potential link between marijuana use and testicular cancer.

"We do not know what marijuana triggers in the testis that may lead to carcinogenesis, although we speculate that it may be acting through the —the that responds to the active ingredient in marijuana—since this system has been shown to be important in the formation of sperm," said Cortessis.

The researchers also discovered that men with a history of using cocaine had a reduced risk of both subtypes of testicular cancer. This finding suggests that men with testicular cancer are not simply more willing to report a history of using recreational drugs. While it is unknown how cocaine may influence testicular cancer risk, the authors suspect that the drug may kill sperm-producing germ cells since it has this effect on experimental animals.

"If this is correct, then 'prevention' would come at a high price," Cortessis said. "Although germ cells can not develop cancer if they are first destroyed, fertility would also be impaired. Since this is the first study in which an association between cocaine use and lower testis cancer risk is noted, additional epidemiological studies are needed to validate the results."

More information: "Population-based case-control study of recreational drug use and testis cancer risk confirms association between marijuana use and non-seminoma risk." John Charles A. Lacson, Joshua D. Carroll, Ellenie Tuazon, Esteban J. Castelao, Leslie Bernstein, and Victoria K. Cortessis. Cancer; Published Online: September 10, 2012 (DOI: 10.1002/cncr.27554).

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kochevnik
1 / 5 (4) Sep 10, 2012
It's all the plastic weed is grown in. This cheap Chinese rubber crap and pvc fittings are loading the plants with hormone disruptors. Smoking these chemicals can't help. This study is garbage as the drug is not pharmaceutical grade, but homemade. If herb caused such an outbreak of cancer why hasn't it been reported over the last two centuries? The US Congress only banned weed when a witness testified that it encouraged white women to sleep with negros! That's what this is all about.
barakn
not rated yet Sep 10, 2012
Only 1 in 250 men get testicular cancer, so it's quite possible a marijuana connection was lost in statistical noise. And trying to blame low quantities of chemicals from plastics used in production when combustion itself produces all kinds of toxic crap like free radicals and heavy metals in the ash... really? You must have a pretty heavy habit.
cantdrive85
1 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2012
So, that's why my balls always hurt!
Roland
3 / 5 (2) Sep 10, 2012
You can't do any cannabis "research" in the US without permission (and a supply) from the DEA. This "study" smells like conflict-of-interest to me. Cannabis has been shown to prevent other cancers.
MrVibrating
1 / 5 (1) Sep 10, 2012
Bastads! Did we really need to know this? Alright then, FYI the most prevalent carcinogen happens to be oxygen:
http://phys.org/n...ism.html
..also implicated in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's..!

That's right, suck it down, squares... ;P
kochevnik
not rated yet Sep 11, 2012
And trying to blame low quantities of chemicals from plastics used in production when combustion itself produces all kinds of toxic crap like free radicals and heavy metals in the ash... really? You must have a pretty heavy habit.
The plants themselves aren't growing in these toxic hydrofarms. The reports are coming from growers themselves. Try learning something instead of projecting from your obviously limited knowledge.
billyum
not rated yet Sep 14, 2012
The article does not state weed increases the risk of Getting Testicular Cancer, just that diagnosed users were more likely to have the more dangerous sub-type, Therefore, 'Higher' Risk.

For those unwilling to accept that increased risk, the article seems to imply sprinkling coke on your bowl may do the trick. :p

South Park previously broadcast a link between Weed and Testicular Cancer.