Study Finds Vasectomies Not Associated With Prostate Cancer
A recent study reports that men considering a vasectomy should not be concerned that the procedure will increase their risk of prostate cancer, researchers say. Having a vasectomy was one of many myths once thought to increase a man’s risk of prostate cancer.
The study, a systematic review and meta-analysis including 53 studies, found there was a weak association between vasectomy and prostate cancer, in which vasectomy was associated with a 0.6% increased risk of prostate cancer diagnosis across all of the studies, but was close to zero effect in the well-controlled studies. This study also found no association between vasectomy and high-grade, advanced-stage, or fatal prostate cancer. The findings were published online in JAMA Internal Medicine.
Concern that getting a vasectomy could lead to prostate cancer flared in 1993 when the Harvard Health Professionals Follow-up Study reported that men who had undergone vasectomies were about one-and-a-half times more likely to develop prostate cancer than men who had not had the operation. However, despite three decades of study and optimism from this study, there is still ongoing debate regarding whether vasectomy is associated with prostate cancer.
This study should help to clear up this controversy and assure men that vasectomies are unlikely to increase risk for prostate cancer.