A new study found that men who smoke cannabis on a regular basis are at increased risk of developing testicular cancer. Studies by a group of U.S.-based researchers associated long-term cannabis use with increased chances of being diagnosed with the cancer. The results were published in the American Medical Association Journal.
According to the study, “regular use of marijuana was associated with testicular germ cell tumor development.” Researchers added that, “sustained use of marijuana may increase the risk of testicular cancer.”
They estimated that long-term cannabis users were 36% more likely to be diagnosed with the potentially fatal condition. The research also compared similar males who were not using cannabis. Many risk factors were considered in the study, including having undescended testicles or family history of the disease.
Advocacy groups across the globe have and continue to campaign to legalize cannabis and have suggested that it can help fight cancer.
According to the National Health Service, cannabis consumers may experience symptoms in one or both testicles; painless swelling, lump, or any change in the testicles’ shape or texture.
“Some lumps or swellings in the scrotum are not in the testis and are not a sign of cancer, but should never be overlooked.” Other signs include an improvement in testicular firmness, a difference in size between the testicles, a dull ache or sharp pain in your testicles or scrotum, and/or a sensation of heaviness in your scrotum.
It is a relatively rare condition that affects only 1% of all men’s cancers. Although it is generally uncommon, it is the most common type of cancer diagnosed in men between men aged 15 to 49 years. It is also more likely to occur in white men than in other ethnic groups, but researchers are still not sure why. American Cancer Society lists the risk of testicular cancer among white men to be about 4 to 5 times that of a Black or Asian-American male. The good news, according to the American Cancer Society, is that the five-year survival rate is 95% (based on people diagnosed with cancer of the testicle between 2008 and 2014.)