Vasectomy and Possible
Prostate Cancer Connection
prospective study was
conducted for 24 years in a group of about 49,400
men. The correlation between vasectomy and risk of developing prostate cancer mainly concerns the most
serious forms of the disease.
procedure, which involves cutting the vas deferens, a tiny muscular tube that carries sperm
from the epididymis to the ejaculatory duct, is a very common practice
in many Anglo-Saxon countries.
For instance, in the United Kingdom and the United States, about 20% and 13% of men
respectively underwent vasectomy in 2011 according to
recent statistics by the World Health organization (WHO). Any connection of the
procedure and malignant tumor cannot be neglected.
explored the association between sterilization by
vasectomy and the occurrence of prostate cancer.
But the inconsistency of the
results made it difficult to reach reliable conclusions. But a new study has shed more light.
by the team of Dr. Lorelei Mucci (Harvard School of Public Health,
Boston), this observational study included 49,400 men aged 40-75 years. In 2000, 25% of them had voluntarily undergone a vasectomy for contraceptive purposes. At the end of follow-up in 2010, prostate cancer was diagnosed in 6,023 men (about 12.2% of the men); of these, 732
had a high grade cancer. A total
of 811 cases were fatal.
of prostate cancer, men who had a vasectomy
have a 10% risk in addition to
developing cancer, compared to those who
did not have a permanent contraception.
was specifically associated with an increased
cancer risk of advanced and
fatal prostate cancer, with an increase
of 20% and 19% respectively. The
risk of high grade cancer also rose by 22% among those men.
significant relationship was observed between
vasectomy and the risk of low-grade or localized
malignancy in the prostate gland.
themechanisms behind cancer
Dr. David Miler of Urology at
the University of Michigan department, "it is necessary to better understand the potential underlying mechanisms contributing to increased risk
of prostate cancer after a
vasectomy before considering setting some
cautions." He believes that the
results of the study, as it is often the case for
observational studies, can be contradictory. "If the study shows a link between prostate cancer and vasectomy, it does not depend on the patient's age or time since vasectomy."
urologist, Dr. David Miler,
given the contradictions posed by the
study, it cannot be used to discourage men
considering a vasectomy, particularly because of
the lack of clearly identified causes. "The results call for further research to clarify the association
between prostate cancer and