Marijuana use could cause testicular cancer

Smoking could increase the risk by 70 per cent


U.S. researchers for the first time have found a link between a surge in marijuana use and increased incidence of testicular cancer. Although the association between cannabis use and the disease is limited to the aggressive nonseminoma types of testicular cancer (which develops earlier than other types and generally affects men between 20 and 35), the study revealed a shocking 70 per cent increased risk for regular long-term cannabis users. Research for the study was conducted at at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, where 369 men in their twenties and thirties with testicular cancer were asked about their history of marijuana use. Their responses were compared with those from just under 1,000 men without the disease from a similar age group. Even after factors like smoking, family history, and drinking habits were considered—marijuana use was revealed to be a significant possible cause in the study, published in the journal Cancer. Despite the findings, the researchers warn that the results are not definitive, but they suggest that marijuana may disrupt the working of a chemical in the body which is thought to have a protective effect against cancer.


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Marijuana use could cause testicular cancer

  1. So. Testicular cancer is one of the rarest forms of cancer. (about 1% of cancers in US men are testicular). And this form of cancer is the less common form of cancer. And so this research tells us … that the risk of a rare form of a rare cancer is doubled. From what? To what? We don’t know, either from your report or from the Telegraph.

    Context please.

    • dude – 1% of, like, a whole bunch, can, like, add up. (3,500,000 Americans)

      Getting all science-skeptic on a quick post referring you to a longer post that cites a scientific journal article sounds tough all out of context – your word – but your hard bitten insights might not impress the actual authors of the actual article, who a) are probably all too aware of all the questions their own work raises and b) hear your kind of insta-putdown all the time..

      • Dude. It’s not 1% of 350 million Americans. If you’re referring to the entire population of the US, that would be 305 million, according to the US Census Bureau. And just over half of those people don’t have testicles, being women.

        My issue is that there’s no context for the increased risk. If the risk of being diagnosed with nonseminoma cancer were to be 5 in 1000, a 70% increase in likelihood would move it to 8.5 per 1000. However, I would argue that the incidence of nonseminoma in the US would be more like 2.5-3 per 100,000 (incidence of all testicular cancer is approximately 5.44 per 100K, and nonseminoma would make up between 40-45% of that number). This would mean that the increased risk of testicular cancer from marijuana smoking would go from approximately 3 per 100,000 to 5.1 per 100,000, or about from about a 1 in 33K chance to a 1 in 20K chance.

        According to the US Centres for Disease Control, the chance of dying in a flood is about 1 in 30K; of dying in an aircraft crash (unless Sully’s flying) are 1 in 20K. Think men are gonna stop flying because they are as likely to die in a crash as they are to die of testicular nonseminoma? Nope.

        My point here is that discussing an increase in risk without describing the ACTUAL risks involved is irresponsible. Unfortunately, neither this post or the story in the Telegraph describe the actual risk.

        And my secondary point is: I’ve never smoked a tobacco cigarette, let alone marijuana. My drug of choice is single-malt Scotch.

  2. 369 people in the test group? Why not publish this when a real medical test is done. This doesnt even have a validly sized test group.

  3. And by the way, dude, I don’t have a problem with the researchers (although I can’t see the actual journal article because it’s behind a pay wall, so I can’t comment on it one way or the other). I have a problem with irresponsible reporting.

  4. Long-term marijuana use screws up people’s brains and saps their motivation to be productive citizens and to lead meaningful lives.

    The least of the pothead’s worries should be losing a nut or two, it’s the loss of their marbles that should really be a source of concern to them.

  5. Actually, 369 cases and 1000 controls isn’t all that bad, if everything else about the study was rigorous.

    Anyone remember what the strength of evidence was for BANNING bisphenol-A from plastic drink bottles? Was it a 70% increased risk? More? Less?

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