Vasectomy Unlikely to Be a Causal Factor of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

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Vasectomy is not linked to either prostate cancer incidence or likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer.
Vasectomy is not linked to either prostate cancer incidence or likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer.

Vasectomy is not linked to either prostate cancer incidence or likelihood of developing aggressive prostate cancer, according to an article published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.1

Recent analyses report mixed results about whether vasectomies increase one's risk for developing prostate cancer; the largest of these analyses, the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study (HPFS), suggest that men who undergo vasectomy are at a 10% greater risk of developing prostate cancer, and a 20% greater risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer.2

For the present Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II), researchers analyzed data from 363,726 men, of which 42,015 underwent vasectomy. Whether a man underwent vasectomy was determined by a questionnaire filled out by his partner.

A subgroup, the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort, consisted of 55,953 men who did not undergo vasectomy, and of 10,589 who did. Data from men in the CPS-II group were evaluated for overall survival only; data from men included in the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort were evaluated for both overall survival and incidence of prostate cancer.

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No association was found between vasectomy and either prostate cancer incidence or prostate cancer mortality. Men who undergo vasectomy may, however, be at an increased risk of non-aggressive prostate cancer.

The authors claim that misclassifications of whether men had a vasectomy did not affect the study's results, and, adjusting for a meaningful possibility of error, predictions still differed from those of the HPFS analysis.

References

  1. Jacobs EJ, Anderson RL, Stevens VL, et al. Vasectomy and prostate cancer incidence and mortality in a large US cohort. J Clin Oncol. 2016 Sep 19. doi: 10.1200/JCO.2015.66.2361 [Epub ahead of print]
  2. Giovannucci E, Ascherio A, Rimm EB, Colditz GA, Stampfer MJ, Willett WC. A prospective cohort study of vasectomy and prostate cancer in US men. JAMA. 1993;269(7):873-7.

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