In Infertile Men, Higher Risk of All, Specific Cancers

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Infertile men have increased risk of all cancers and some individual cancers.
Infertile men have increased risk of all cancers and some individual cancers.

Infertile men have increased risk of all cancers and some individual cancers, according to a study published in The Journal of Urology.

Michael L. Eisenberg, M.D., from the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues examined the correlation between infertility and cancer among subjects from the Truven Health MarketScan claims database from 2001 to 2009.

They identified infertile men through diagnosis and treatment codes. The incidence of cancer was compared to national estimates and to men who underwent vasectomy and a control cohort of men who were not infertile and had not undergone vasectomy.

Data were included for 76,083 infertile men (average age, 35.1 years), 112,655 men who underwent vasectomy, and 760,830 control men.

The researchers found that infertile, vasectomy, and control subjects in the study cohorts had higher rates of all cancers and many individual cancers compared with age-adjusted national averages.

Compared with those who underwent vasectomy or controls, infertile men had a higher risk of cancer in time to event analysis.

Compared with the vasectomy and control groups, infertile men had a higher risk of testis cancer, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, and all cancers.

RELATED: Providers Should Discuss Future Fertility Issues More Often

"The current data also suggest that infertile men are at an increased risk of all cancers in the years after infertility evaluation," the authors write.

"Future research should focus on confirming these associations and elucidating pathways between infertility and cancer."

One author disclosed financial ties to the biotechnology industry. Another disclosed a relationship with Kaiser Permanente.


  1. Eisenberg, Michael L., et al. "Increased Risk of Cancer in Infertile Men: Analysis of U.S. Claims Data." The Journal of Urology. DOI: [epub ahead of print]. November 14, 2014.

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