Marijuana use linked to testicular cancer

 
By Sheryl Kay • Published: May 19th, 2009
Category: Health in a Heartbeat
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Long-term marijuana users take note… that smoke isn’t as harmless as you think.

Cognitive and memory issues aside, research now shows a direct and dramatic link between men who frequently smoke and one of the most aggressive forms of testicular cancer, also known as nonseminoma [non-sem-i-NO-ma].

The study, published in the journal Cancer and the first ever to look specifically at marijuana use in relation to the disease, found the risk doubled for regular marijuana users compared with those who had never smoked pot.

Scientists worked with a group of three-hundred-sixty-nine men who ranged in age from eighteen to forty-four and were diagnosed with testicular cancer. Each person was questioned about his use of marijuana, and the findings were compared with a group of a thousand apparently cancer-free men.

Researchers found that even after taking into account other factors that may lead to testicular cancer such as prior injuries or a family history of the disease, smoking marijuana was still a definite risk factor for testicular cancer. They noted that for those who simply smoked pot there existed a seventy percent added risk for the disease. Those who used it habitually or who had started at an early age fully doubled their risk compared with those who had never smoked it.

Researchers hope that because this study does provide genuine evidence that long-term marijuana use is linked to cancer, habitual users might think twice before lighting up again.