Marijuana use linked to increased risk of testicular cancer

The Washington Post “Checkup” blog reports, “Men who have smoked marijuana are twice as likely to be diagnosed with testicular cancer than men who have never done so,” according to a study published in Cancer.

Investigators “compared 163 men who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer to 292 men (of similar ages and race/ethnicity) who had not.” Participants “were asked about their health history, education and use of recreational drugs such as marijuana and cocaine, among other things.”

MedPage Today reports that the researchers found that participants “who reported ever using marijuana had nearly twice the risk of testicular germ cell tumors as those who had never used the drug.”

California Watch reports that the study’s lead author, Victoria Cortessis, said, “We do not know what marijuana triggers in the testes that may lead to carcinogenesis, although we speculate that it may be acting through … the cellular network that responds to the active ingredient in marijuana, since this system has been shown to be important in the formation of sperm.”

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