Marijuana use elevates the risk of the most aggressive form of testicular cancer

By on Friday, February 20th, 2009

A new US study suggests there is a link between marijuana use and elevated risk of the most aggressive form of testicular cancer, with frequent and long term users having the highest risk.

The odds of substance use for lesbian, gay and bisexual (LGB) youth are on average 190 percent higher than for heterosexual youth, according to a study by University of Pittsburgh researchers published in the current issue of Addiction. What’s more, for some sub-populations of LGB youth, the odds were substantially higher, including 340 percent for bisexual youth and 400 percent for lesbians, researchers found.   So, the risk of testicular cancer among GBT youth may be quite high.

The study was the work of researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, and other centres in the US and is published early online in the journal Cancer.

The study results show that being a marijuana smoker at the time of diagnosis was linked to a 70 per cent higher risk of testicular cancer. For men who smoked marijuana at least once a week or who had been smoking it since their teens, the risk was about double that of a man who had never smoked it.

The results also showed that the link with marijuana use might only be with the most aggressive, fast growing form of testicular cancer, nonseminoma. This type of cancer usually develops in younger men between the age of 20 and 35, and accounts for approximately 40 per cent of all cases of testicular cancer.


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