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Smoking cannabis ‘increases risk of testicular cancer’

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Men who regularly smoke cannabis are significantly more likely to develop testicular cancer, latest study results suggest.

Researchers from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington, studied the cannabis use of 369 men, aged 18 to 44, who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer. They then compared their findings with 979 healthy controls.

The researchers found that being a cannabis smoker at the time of diagnosis was associated with a 70% increased risk of testicular cancer.

Those who used cannabis at least weekly, and/or who had long-term exposure to the substance beginning in adolescence, were twice as likely to develop testicular cancer as those who had never smoked cannabis, the authors said online in the journal Cancer.

The study results also suggested that cannabis use may be limited to nonseminoma, the most aggressive type of testicular cancer that tends to strike between the ages of 20 and 35, and accounts for about 40% of all testicular cancer cases.

‘Our study is the first inkling that cannabis use may be associated with testicular cancer, and we still have a lot of unanswered questions,’ said study author Stephen Schwartz.

‘What young men should know is that a decision to smoke marijuana recreationally means that one is taking a chance on one’s future health,’ he warned.

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