Weed Whacking: Smoking Dope May Increase Testicular Cancer Risk

Dudes, if you want to keep what’s in your pants from going up in smoke, think twice before sparking up a joint.

Testicular cancer is the most common type of cancer in males ages 15-45. And the rates are on the rise. But if you’ve ever smoked marijuana, you’ve got more than double the risk of developing a particularly deadly form of testicular cancer tumors called non-seminoma. The effects were the same whether the men were smoking the weed recreationally or for therapeutic purposes.

Victoria Cortessis, one of the study’s authors, said in a press release that, “The group that is at risk for developing these tumors is overwhelmingly young men. They should be looking and paying attention to changes in their testicles anyway.”

If you’re under 45 and are, in fact, smoking weed, you should let your health-care provider know. The more he or she knows about your health and risk factors, the better care you’ll get.

Keep in mind that testicular cancers are still pretty rare—you have a lifetime risk of developing it of about 1 percent. And when the cancer is caught early, most men survive it. But according to Cortessis, “non-seminomas require more extensive treatment, including radiation and chemotherapy.”
And now for something even stranger…

The same study found that men with a history of cocaine use actually had reduced rates of both types of cancer. It’s not clear exactly why that is, but the researchers speculate that it may have something to do with cocaine’s tendency to kill sperm-producing cells.
Please do not interpret this as encouragement to start using cocaine as a way to prevent testicular cancer. That connection needs to be confirmed by additional research. But even if it turns out to be true, is it really worth the price? At the very least, your ability to have kids would be negatively affected. And then there’s all the negatives that come along with cocaine use (not the least of which are that it could kill you and/or land you in jail).

Scroll to top