Scientists Discover New Link Between Marijuana Smoking And Testicular Cancer Risk
There’s new evidence that a daily marijuana-smoking habit could increase your risk of testicular cancer.
A study published Wednesday in JAMA Network Open found that men who smoked one joint daily for 10 years or more had an estimated 36 percent increased risk of developing testicular cancer compared with men who had never smoked the substance.
Researchers did a meta-analysis of 25 studies that looked at the link between marijuana use and testicular cancer, lung cancer, oral cancer, and head and neck cancer. The study’s researchers were unable to determine why their meta-analysis showed a link between smoking pot and testicular cancer but none of the other three cancers they analysed.
There was no evidence or association between regularly smoking marijuana and lung, neck, or oral cancer. This study didn’t look for a link between pot and ovarian cancer. So why are the testicles targeted by the green stuff?
Smoking marijuana releases cancer-causing substances
According to the researchers smoking marijuana releases carcinogens, or substances that can increase a person’s risk of developing cancer. When you combust any plant, you’re creating more carcinogens.
That’s because cannabis, the plant marijuana is derived from, is like any other plant in that it burns and releases smoke when you light it. This study is pretty narrow in it’s scope since people now vape and use the edible variety of marijuana.
The studies analyzed were published between 1973 and 2018, some of the older studies may not reflect the current population’s marijuana-consumption habits. And, of course, the study can’t prove a cause-and-effect relationship.
Nonetheless, the researchers said their study offers insights into how long-term marijuana smoking could affect men.
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men
According to the National Organisation for Rare Disorders (NORD), though testicular cancer accounts for only 1 percent of cancers in men, it’s the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men between 15 and 35. Every year in the US, an estimated 8,850 men are diagnosed with the disease.
Common Signs of Potential Testicular Cancer
- Firm painless bump on testicle
- Testicular swelling
- aching in the stomach
- aching in the scrotum
- weight loss
- difficulty breathing.
Testicular cancer is one of the most treatable forms of cancer, according to NORD. It’s usually curable with surgery, and sometimes also requires radiation or chemotherapy.