Marijuana Use Linked to Higher Risk of Testicular Cancer

Risk highest for nonseminoma and mixed histology tumors

MONDAY, Sept. 10 (HealthDay News) -- Marijuana use is associated with an approximately two-fold higher risk of testicular cancer, particularly nonseminoma and mixed histology tumors, according to a study published online Sept. 10 in Cancer.

John Charles A. Lacson, from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and colleagues compared self-reported use of marijuana and other recreational drugs in 163 men diagnosed with testicular germ cell tumors and in 292 matched controls.

Compared with never using drugs, and after adjusting for a number of factors, the researchers found that use of marijuana was associated with a higher risk of testicular cancer (odds ratio [OR], 1.94), while cocaine use was associated with a lower risk (OR, 0.54). Marijuana use was associated with a greater likelihood of nonseminoma and mixed histology tumors (OR, 2.42).

"We conclude that marijuana use is associated with an elevated risk of testicular germ cell tumor, especially nonseminoma or mixed histology tumors," Lacson and colleagues write. "This consistent finding across three epidemiologic studies now warrants mechanistic research investigating biologic processes whereby constituents of marijuana smoke may influence testicular carcinogenesis."

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