Study finds Link between Smoking Marijuana and Testicular Cancer

Posted by PITHOCRATES - September 15th, 2012

Week in Review

Pot smoking can cause permanent brain damage.  It can lead to harder and more dangerous drug use.  But now there is something even more horrible it can do to you (see Marijuana use may increase risk of testicular cancer by Jon Bardin posted 9/10/2012 on the Los Angeles Times).

A new study, published Monday on the website of the medical journal Cancer, reports that men who have testicular cancer are twice as likely to have smoked marijuana before they were diagnosed than control subjects. The association existed only for nonseminomas, the more dangerous form of testicular cancer that is harder to treat.

In the study, carried out in Los Angeles, a team of researchers enrolled 163 men who had been diagnosed with testicular cancer between 1986 and 1991. They also recruited a larger group of control subjects who were matched to the patients on such characteristics as age, ethnicity, and what L.A. neighborhood the subjects lived in at the time they were diagnosed—a localized approach to controlling for socioeconomic status.

The researchers, led by Victoria Cortessis of the USC, quizzed the participants on a range of medical and lifestyle factors, including drug use. They found that marijuana use before they were diagnosed was linked to a two-fold increase in testicular cancer risk. Even with this increased risk, the likelihood of developing testicular cancer remains relatively low: According to the American Cancer Society, a normal man’s likelihood of developing the disease is about one in 270. The risk of dying from the disease is even lower, at one in 5,000.

One in 270?  The average graduating class size in a U.S. public school is about 125.  So if you go to high school in a big city chances are that at least one in your graduating class will have testicular cancer.  And the odds are that it will be one of the stoners in your grade.  And if you’re one of the stoners it could be you.  Sure, the odds are low.  But considering what’s at risk some may reconsider enjoying that ‘harmless’ marijuana.  Because it could cost a guy his two best friends.

So to wrap up marijuana may cause permanent brain damage, it may be a gateway drug to a more harmful drug/addiction or it may cause you to lose your testicles.  As sad as the first two are to consider it is probably the losing of your testicles that gets the attention of a young pot smoker most.  Even though the first two are far more likely to happen and destroy your life than the less likely losing of your testicles to marijuana-inflicted cancer.  Because a young man has priorities in his life.  And saving brain cells or avoiding drug addiction is clearly not one of them.

So don’t do drugs, high school kid.  Because it could kill you.  Or worse.  It could hurt your future sex life.  Giving a whole new meaning to the phrase if you don’t use them you will lose them.  To testicular cancer.

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