Do men who frequently smoke pot have a higher risk of testicular cancer than those who do not? It’s possible, according to a new study. However, the researchers say the link is currently a “hypothesis” that needs further testing.
Testicular cancer is relatively rare - a man’s lifetime chance of developing the disease is about 1 in 300 (and dying of it is about 1 in 5,000). Frequent or long-term marijuana smokers could have about double the risk of nonusers, according to the report in the February 9 issue of the journal Cancer.
In the study, a team led by Dr. Janet R. Daling of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, interviewed 369 men between the ages of 18 and 44 from the Seattle-Puget Sound area whose testicular cancer had been diagnosed. They compared those men with 979 men who lived in the same area, but did not have cancer.
A standard part of testicular cancer care isn’t used in more than half of all patients who have the condition, researchers at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center have found.
Serum-based tumor markers, which are one indicator of the presence of cancer cells, are helpful in several aspects of the care of patients with testis cancer, including diagnosis, prognostication and surveillance for disease recurrence following treatment. Doctors typically rely on a series of three tumor markers with this type of cancer.
In a review of more than 4,700 testicular cancer cases, a combination of two of these tumor markers were used less than half of the time, while all three tumor markers were measured in just 16 percent of the cases.