Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston found that vasectomy is linked to an increased risk for advance or lethal prostate cancer. The findings were reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Prostate cancer is a leading cause of cancer related deaths among men in the US. Vasectomy is a common type of contraception which 15 percent of US men underwent the procedure. The researchers analyzed data from 49,405American men who were participants of the Health Professionals Follow Up Study from 1986 to 2010. The men were aged from 40 to 75 years old when the 24-year follow up of the study commenced.
During that period, 6,023 men were eventually diagnosed with prostate cancer, of which 811 died. Among the total, about one in four of the participants also reported having a vasectomy. Further analyzing the data, the researchers found that men who had a vasectomy also had a 10 percent increased prostate cancer risk. Upon closer inspection, researchers further linked vasectomy to an increased risk to more aggressive forms of cancer. According to the researchers, men who had vasectomy had a 19 percent higher risk of advanced cancer and a 20 percent higher risk for a lethal form of advanced prostate cancer. But the researchers also found no link between vasectomy and low-grade cancer risk.
According to Kathryn Wilson, a research associate in HSPH’s Department of Epidemiology and a study co-author, “The decision to opt for a vasectomy as a form of birth control is a highly personal one and a man should discuss the risks and benefits with his physician.” The researchers also noted that the numbers indicated relative risk rather than absolute risk.
Source: Medical New Today