The increased rates of a certain type of testicular cancer in Western countries is being linked to smoking marijuana for the first time. The rise in the disease appears to be parallel of the the rise in the use of cannabis.
United States researchers have found that men who regularly smoke cannabis have a 70 per cent increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Those most at risk smoked the drug at least once a week or had a long history of use beginning in their teen years.
The study was based on questionnaires of 369 men with the cancer. The men were questioned on their history of cannabis use and then compared to 979 men who did not have cancer. Cannabis was linked to testicular cancer independently of other known risks.
The study is said to be the first time that cannabis use has been linked to testicular cancer.
The study showed a link between smoking pot and only one type of testicular cancer, nonseminoma. The cancer is aggressive and tends to attack younger men. It makes up 40 percent of all testicular cancer cases. The results are in today’s publication of the journal Cancer.
The Independent reports:
Stephen Schwartz, an epidemiologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Centre in Seattle, Washington, who led the research, said: “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.”