While not much is known about the long-term effects of smoking marijuana, a new study suggests it could significantly increase a man's risk for testicular cancer. The study at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center compared more than 350 men diagnosed with testicular cancer to nearly 1,000 men without cancer. Researchers found men who were marijuana users had a 70 percent increased risk for developing the most aggressive form of the disease. Researchers add more study is needed.
Researcher Stephen Schwartz, Ph.D., says, "I wouldn't add it as a risk factor. We're the only one study that's looked at this question and whether it holds up as a risk factor that we can count on in the long term on I don't know yet."
The risk was higher for men who had used marijuana for longer periods of time, or among those who started smoking marijuana in their teens. Coincidentally, the study in The Journal Cancer, notes the number of testicular cancer cases have steadily increased in the past 60 years, in conjunction with the rise in marijuana use.