marijuana and testicular cancer

Weed and Testis Cancer: An Unholy Duo

I know that it is legal in most states. I also know that getting “high” on pot is not the same as getting “drunk” on alcohol. These issues aside, I still worry a lot about the relationship between pot use and the risk of testicular cancer.

Some recent meta-analysis research adds fuel to the fire. A review of 25 studies conducted over the last 40 years continues to suggest a link between long-term cannabis use and higher rates of testicular cancer. Like tobacco and lung cancer, there appears to be an unholy relationship between pot use and testicular cancer. And the facts surrounding pot use and the occurrence of this cancer in the U.S. lend credence to this concept.

Testis Cancer Trends

Consider the bare facts surrounding testicular cancer:

  • Testis cancer is the most common malignancy among men ages 20 to 40.
  • The age-adjusted rates for testicular cancers in the US have been rising 1% each year over the last several decades.
  • Among the 100 known cancers, testis cancer is one of only 4 that has been increasing as of late.

Grass is Getting Greener

Now, let’s look at the facts surrounding pot use:

  • Pot has been legalized in 45 states since 1973. And, for some reason, we tend to assume incorrectly that “legalization” means “safe”.
  • The potency of THC in marijuana preparations has more than doubled over the last two decades.
  • Second to alcohol, marijuana is the most commonly used substance among adolescents.
  • Rates of weed use are increasing, with use among young adults (ages 18-29 years) doubling from 10% to 21% since 2000, while alcohol and tobacco use rates have declined.
  • Young adults (ages 18 to 25) are 3 times more likely to be current pot users compared to older adults. Pot use is highest among those in their early twenties.

If there is even a hair of truth to the relationship between testis cancer and weed use, then one of the purest forms of preventative therapy on this good earth is to pitch the pot, wing the weed, bury the bammy, heave the hemp…you get the idea.

This article first appeared on Dr.Turek’s blog.

Thanks to Ahmed Zayan for sharing their work on Unsplash.

Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor

View posts by Dr. Paul Turek, Medical Contributor
Dr. Paul Turek is an internationally known thought leader in men’s reproductive and sexual health care and research. A fellowship trained, board-certified physician by the American Board of Urology (ABU), he has received numerous honors and awards for his work and is an active member in professional associations worldwide. His recent lectures, publications and book titles can be found in his curriculum vitae.

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