Men who have had a vasectomy may have an increased risk of suffering an advanced, aggressive, and fatal form of prostate cancer, according to a new research.
A study by Harvard scientists tracked nearly 50,000 men for 24 years. About 6,023 of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer, including 811 fatal cases.
Increased Risk of Prostate Cancer
Out of the 25% of the men who had vasectomy, there was a 10% increased risk for prostate cancer development and 20% higher risk of advanced prostate cancer.
“This study follows our initial publication on vasectomy and prostate cancer in 1993, with 19 additional years of follow-up and tenfold greater number of cases. The results support the hypothesis that vasectomy is associated with an increased risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer,” study co-author Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at the Harvard School of Public Health, said.
Vasectomy is still a common form of male contraception. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, about 15% of American men have had a vasectomy.
Something Going On
“I don’t think we should conclude from this that people shouldn’t get vasectomies, because the absolute risk doesn’t go up too much,” study researcher Kathy Wilson, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health, said. “But it does show that there is something going on.”