According to a recent study, vasectomy, a surgical procedure for male sterilization, not only damages the vas deferens, but poses a higher risk of prostate cancer, especially advanced or fatal prostate cancer.
The study was published this month in the Journal of Clinical Oncology .
The effect appears to be stronger among men who had a vasectomy at a young age, according to the study. The results support the hypothesis that vasectomy is associated with an increased risk of advanced or fatal prostate cancer.
The researchers mentioned that this study is follow up of an initial publication on vasectomy and prostate cancer in 1993, with 19 additional years of follow-up and ten times as many cases. Data from 49,405 North American men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, who were followed for 24 years from 1986-2010 were analyzed.
The results showed an increased risk of prostate cancer overall by 10 percent in men who had a vasectomy. Vasectomy was not significantly associated with the risk of low-grade cancer, but was associated with a stronger risk of advanced prostate cancer and lethal prostate cancer, with an increased risk of 20 percent and 19 percent, respectively.
Among men who received regular examinations, the relative increase in the risk of lethal prostate cancer was 56 percent.
The researchers found that the association remained even among men who received regular examinations, suggesting an increased risk of fatal cancer cannot be explained by diagnostic bias. Neither the results were not influenced by differences in the levels of sex hormones, sexually transmitted infections, or cancer treatment.