Marijuana Associated with Testicular Cancer
Testicular cancer, generally classified as seminomatous (60%) and nonseminomatous (40%) with nonseminomatous being more aggressive and treatment resistant, is the most common cancer among American men ages 15 to 24 years, and its incidence has been increasing 3–6% per year over several decades. Prior research has demonstrated that chronic marijuana use impacts endogenous hormone levels in the endocrine and male reproductive systems. Researchers conducted a population-based case control trial to determine whether marijuana use is a risk factor for testicular cancer. Between 1999 and 2006, 369 cases of testicular cancer in men ages 18 to 44 years were identified from 3 counties in Washington State. These men, along with 979 age-matched controls, were surveyed about their lifetime marijuana use. Potential confounders in analytic models included age, alcohol use, current smoking, and history of cryptorchidism.
- Patients with testicular cancer were 1.7 times more likely to be current marijuana smokers than controls.
- This association occurred most frequently in patients with nonseminomatous tumors, who were 2.3 times more likely to be current marijuana smokers than controls.
- Patients with nonseminomatous tumors were also more likely to have started using marijuana at an earlier age (odds ratio [OR], 2.8), to have been using marijuana for 10 or more years (OR, 2.7), and to have a higher frequency of use (OR, 3.0).