Smoking cannabis increases a man’s risk of developing testicular cancer, a study suggests. US researchers found that current cannabis users had a 70 per cent higher risk of testicular germ cell tumour. Most of the association appeared to be because of a more than doubled risk of developing a nonseminoma or mixed histology tumour. Dr. Janet Daling and colleagues from the University of Washington conducted interviews on cannabis use with 369 men aged 18 to 44 years who had been diagnosed with a testicular germ cell tumour.

The researchers compared the men’s answers with those from interviews with 979 age-matched controls. They said the results were ‘the first inkling’ that cannabis use might be associated with testicular cancer. Dr. Daling and her team will now examine how cannabis might act on cannabinoid receptors to increase tumour risk.

Daling JR, Doody DR, Sun X et al. Association of marijuana use and the incidence of testicular germ cell tumors. Cancer 2009 Feb 9. doi 10.1002/cncr.24159

Originally published in the March 2009 edition of MIMS Oncology & Palliative Care.

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