Thursday, July 10, 2014

Vasectomy poses small increased risk of prostate cancer

CANCER DIGEST – July 10, 2014 – Men who undergo vasectomy have a small increased risk of prostate cancer, and stronger risk of a more aggressive form of the disease, results of a 24-year public health study show. The researchers from Harvard updated the results of the ongoing study of 49,405 U.S. men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, which began in 1986. The study appeared online July 7, 2014 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. During that time there were 6,023 cases of prostate cancer  including 181 fatal cases. About 25 percent of the participants reported having had a vasectomy, and the results showed those men had a 10 percent higher risk of prostate cancer and about a 20 percent higher risk of the aggressive or lethal form of the disease. The effect appeared to be greatest among men who had their vasectomies at a younger age. While the increased risk should be discussed with men considering the procedure, the researchers noted that the while the relative increase in risk is significant, it translates into a relatively small increase overall risk, noting that in the study 16 in 1,000 men developed lethal prostate cancer over 24 years.

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