A new study suggests men who consume cannabis daily have an increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Men who consumed cannabis daily for more than 10 years had a 36 percent increased risk for testicular cancer compared to men who have never consumed cannabis.
Researchers looked at 25 previous studies spanning the last 50 years that showed the link between cannabis and different forms of cancer, including lung cancer, oral cancer, testicular cancer and head and neck cancer. Researchers didn’t find any links between cannabis and lung, neck or oral cancers, but found regular cannabis use over number of years led to an increased testicular cancer risk. The new findings contradict other studies that have suggested that cannabis can lower cancer cell growth.
The study researchers were unable to determine why their analysis showed a link between cannabis and testicular cancer and not the other cancers they looked at as well. They did note some things that could have affected their analysis, including the fact that all studies looked at were in English. The studies looked at were also published between 1973 and 2018 and the older studies may not reflect the current population’s cannabis consumption habits.
“Low-strength evidence suggests that smoking marijuana is associated with developing testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT); its association with other cancers and the consequences of higher levels of use are unclear. Long-term studies in marijuana-only smokers would improve understanding of marijuana’s association with lung, oral, and other cancers,” the researchers said in the study.
According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, only one percent of all men get testicular cancer, but it is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men between the ages of 15 and 35 with an estimated 8,850 men diagnosed with the disease every year. Testicular cancer has no known cause, but the disease is tied to several other conditions, including family history with testicular cancer, HIV infection and an undescended testicle, among other factors.