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Does A Vasectomy Increase Risk Of Prostate Cancer

Being Overweight Or Obese

Can a vasectomy increase the risk of prostate cancer? Penn State Cancer Institute

Obese means being very overweight with a body mass index of 30 or higher. And being overweight means having a BMI of between 25 and 30.

Try to keep a healthy weight by being physically active and eating a healthy, balanced diet.

There is some evidence that being active might help to lower your risk of developing prostate cancer.

Being overweight or obese increases your risk of advanced prostate cancer. Researchers have found a link between being obese or overweight and cancers being higher grade .

Identification Of Vasectomy Status

In the 2004 follow-up questionnaire, male participants were asked Have you ever had any of the following procedures performed?’ These procedures included coronary artery bypass or angioplasty, gallbladder removal, cataract extraction and vasectomy. Those responding in the affirmative were then asked to identify a time frame of the procedure including Before 1985′, 1985-1994′, 1995-1999′ and 2000 to present’. Timing of vasectomy was then set at 31 December 1985, 15 June 1989, 15 June 1997, or the date of the follow-up survey completion.

A Vasectomy May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

Men with vasectomies may be at an increased risk for the most lethal form of prostate cancer, researchers have found. But aggressive cancer nonetheless remains rare in these patients.

Earlier studies had hinted at a connection between vasectomies and prostate cancer. Many experts have dismissed the idea of a link: Men who have vasectomies may receive more medical attention, they said, and therefore may be more likely to receive a diagnosis. The new study, , sought to account for that possibility and for other variables.

Researchers at Harvard reviewed data on 49,405 men ages 40 to 75, of whom 12,321 had had vasectomies. They found 6,023 cases of prostate cancer among those men from 1986 to 2010.

The researchers found no association between a vasectomy and low-grade cancers. But men who had had a vasectomy were about 20 percent more likely to develop lethal prostate cancer, compared with those who had not. The incidence was 19 in 1,000 cases, compared with 16 in 1,000, over the 24-year period.

The reason for the increase is unclear, but some experts have speculated that immunological changes, abnormal cell growth or hormonal imbalances following a vasectomy may also affect prostate cancer risk.

Dr. James M. McKiernan, interim chairman of the department of urology at Columbia, said the lack of a clear causal mechanism was a drawback of the new research.

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Risk Factors For Prostate Cancer

It is not known exactly what causes prostate cancer. However, research shows that some factors may increase your risk, though scientists are still working to establish why there is a link between these factors and prostate cancer risk.

  • Age

Age is the most significant risk factor for prostate cancer. Your risk increases as you get older. Only 1 out of every 100 of cases diagnosed in Ireland are diagnosed in men under 50. In old age, up to 8 out of 10 men have prostate cancer cells in the prostate but in some men they dont cause any problems.

In Ireland, about 1 in 6 men will get prostate cancer at some point in their lives. However, it is important to note that this is a lifetime risk and involves men who get prostate cancer at any age, up to 85 or older. Your risk when you are younger is much lower than 1 in 6.

  • A family history of cancer

Prostate cancer seems to run in some families. Generally speaking, if you have a father or brother diagnosed with prostate cancer you are 2.5 times more likely to get prostate cancer yourself, compared to the average man.

The age that your relative is diagnosed with prostate cancer may also be a factor. If they were diagnosed before the age of 60, this increases your risk by slightly more than if they were diagnosed after the age of 60. If you have more than one first degree relative diagnosed with prostate cancer your risk is about 4 times that of the general population.

  • Genes
  • BRCA2
  • Lynch Syndrome
  • Ethnicity
  • A previous cancer
  • Diet
  • Hormones

Vasectomy Increases Prostate Cancer Risk Over Time

Vasectomy: Does It Increase My Risk Of Prostate Cancer ...

Pam Harrison

May 30, 2019

Vasectomy, a widespread form of birth control, is associated with a small but significantly increased risk of prostate cancer over the long run, according to a comprehensive analysis of Danish nationwide registries.

“The precise etiology of prostate cancer is unknown, but cohort studies suggest that reproductive factors influence disease development,” comment the authors, led by Anders Husby, MD, Statens Serum Institut, Copenhagen, Denmark.

“We showed that vasectomy is associated with a long-term increased risk of prostate cancer, which manifests itself from ten years after the procedure,” investigators add.

“, the absolute increased risk of prostate cancer following vasectomy is…small and similar to the increased breast cancer risk in women following oral contraceptive use,” they state.

The study was May 23 in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute .

In an accompanying editorial, lead editorialist Lorelei Mucci, MPH, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, and colleagues remain unconvinced and conclude that “it remains unclear whether vasectomy is or is not a cause of prostate cancer.”

In addition, they recommend that “a man’s decision to undergo vasectomy should be decided based on the totality of evidence and consideration of benefits and possible risks.”

Approximately 500,000 men in the United States undergo a vasectomy every year, they note.

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Are Vasectomies Linked To Immune Related Diseases

Probably not. Autoimmune diseases are conditions in which the immune system turns on the body and attacks healthy tissue. Vasectomy can cause the formation of anti-sperm antibodies, leading some people to speculate that this increased immune response could increase the risk of such diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis or inflammatory bowel disease.

There’s little research addressing this question but one study in the journal Human Reproduction found no evidence of a link between vasectomy and immune diseases. The 2007 study looked at patient records for more than 170,000 men and found that men who had had a vasectomy were no more likely to develop certain auto-immune diseases than those who had not undergone the procedure. The study followed the men for an average of 13 years and found no increased risk of asthma, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, myasthenia gravis, or rheumatoid arthritis.

Does A Vasectomy Increase Your Risk Of Getting Prostate Cancer

No. While numerous studies have investigated the link, none of them found any evidence that vasectomy increases a person’s risk of prostate cancer.

For example, a 2008 study in the Journal of Urology, which looked at 1943 men, found that men who developed prostate cancer were no more likely to have had a vasectomy than men who didn’t. The study also found that it didn’t matter how old a man was when he had the procedure, or how long ago he had it done. This study confirmed an earlier study in 2147 men, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, that also showed no increased risk of prostate cancer in men who’d had vasectomies, even 25 years after the surgery.

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Setting And Data Sources

We conducted a population based matched cohort study of residents in Ontario, Canada. With a population of about 14 million in 2016,39 Ontario is Canadas most populous province, and residents have universal access to physician services and hospital care. We used the Ontario health insurance plan database to identify physician claims for vasectomy. The Ontario Cancer Registry40 was used to identify patients with incident prostate cancer , characteristics of their tumour, and date and cause of death, where applicable. It is a validated, population based tumour registry maintained by Cancer Care Ontario and is estimated to be more than 95% complete.4041 We obtained data on admissions to hospitals from the Canadian Institute for health information discharge abstract database,42 national ambulatory care reporting system, and same day surgery database, which contain detailed clinical information on admissions to hospitals and emergency departments and outpatient surgical procedures in Ontario. We obtained basic personal data from the registered persons database, a registry of all Ontario residents eligible for health insurance. These databases were linked in an anonymous fashion using encrypted health card numbers, and are routinely used to study the long term consequences of medical care.434445 Details of the databases used and their validity have been described elsewhere.46

There Is Insufficient Evidence To Show Concern Of Increasing The Risk Of Getting Prostate Cancer By Having A Vasectomy

Diet can influence men’s risk of prostate cancer

The most important consideration is that there is currently no plausible proposed biological mechanism by which a vasectomy might increase the risk of cancer.

Finally, several other studies have not found any correlation between vasectomy and prostate cancer. For example, in a 1999 study by Michael Brawer et al in Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and prevention published, a study of a more select population of over 700 patients with prostate cancer who were questioned with respect to a variety of possible associations. In addition to PSA, Patients were also questioned regarding demographics, reproductive history, stature, family history, smoking, alcohol consumption, sexual history and occupation. Finding revealed there was no statistically significant difference in the incidence of prostate cancer in vasectomy versus non vasectomy groups.

Therefore, at this point in time, I am comfortable stating that there is insufficient evidence to show concern of increasing the risk of getting prostate cancer simply by having a vasectomy, but Im also comfortable stating that there is testimony from many of my patients that they have less worry and more enjoyment from life after their birth control was put on autopilot.

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Vasectomy May Increase Risk Of Aggressive Prostate Cancer

For immediate release: Monday, July 7, 2014

Boston, MA Vasectomy was associated with a small increased risk of prostate cancer, and a stronger risk for advanced or lethal prostate cancer, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health . The researchers found that the association remained even among men who received regular PSA screening, suggesting the increased risk of lethal cancer cannot be explained by diagnostic bias. It is the largest and most comprehensive study to date to look at the link between vasectomy and prostate cancer.

The study appears online July 7, 2014 in Journal of Clinical Oncology.

This study follows our initial publication on vasectomy and prostate cancer in 1993, with 19 additional years of follow-up and tenfold greater number of cases. The results support the hypothesis that vasectomy is associated with an increased risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer, said co-author Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at HSPH.

Vasectomy is a common form of contraception in the U.S., with about 15% of men having the procedure. Prostate cancer is the second-leading cause of cancer death among U.S. men, so identifying risk factors for lethal prostate cancer is important for public health.

Support for the study was provided by Grants No. P01 CA055075, CA133891, CA141298, and UM1CA167552-01 and by Training Grant No. T32 CA09001 from the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health.

For more information:

The Connection Between Vasectomy And Prostate Cancer Risk: Study

As per a study by the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Dr KK Aggarwal President of the Heart Care Foundation of India and the Past National President of Indian Medical Association shed light over the connection between vasectomy and prost

It was a comprehensive analysis led by Anders Husby, MD Statens Serum Institut in Copenhagen, stating a slight but significant increase in the risk of prostate cancer with vasectomy. There is a considerable rise in the number of people undergoing a vasectomy. It is a surgical procedure for males for permanent contraception. In a time when population control is slowly and steadily becoming an essential aspect for couples and families alike, more men are going under the knives to ensure a controlled family size. The procedure includes cutting of the male vas deferens, which is then sealed or tied to prevent the sperm from entering the urethra. Vasectomy is no more seen a stigma among men, and it is more of a safer means for couples to resort to safe sex than resorting to harmful contraceptives.

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Strong Study Shows No Link Between Vasectomy And Prostate Cancer

  • By Charlie Schmidt, Editor, Harvard Medical School Annual Report on Prostate Diseases

In the 1980s, reports began to surface of a potential connection between vasectomies and prostate cancer. This worried men considering vasectomies for birth control, but it was also controversial. Some studies detected an association while others didnt. Harvard Prostate Knowledge last covered the topic in 2015, after the largest study to that point detected slightly higher risks of high-grade prostate cancer among men who had a vasectomy compared to men who hadnt.

Now that study has been eclipsed by an even larger one.

What Does This Mean

Do Vasectomies Increase Your Odds of Getting Prostate ...

What studies have observed is that the group of men that had a vasectomy had a slightly higher risk of aggressive prostate cancer. However, since then there have a lot of questions by experts*:

  • The rise is very small could there be a statistic variability? Is an excess of three cases in a thousand significant? The relative error in random difference for 1000 cases is three, the observed difference in the two groups.
  • Prostate cancer diagnoses are rare enough that the measurement error probably exceeds the difference they observed. The headline is not justified by the size of the difference and the article is not justified by the sample and limitations of the analysis. This error was also observed by the American Urology Association, who has dismissed the results.
  • Could it be, that men seeking vasectomy have higher promiscuity levels and therefore higher testosterone levels
  • Are there other factors involved?
  • *comments taken from experts in a variety of publications

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    Does A Vasectomy Increase Risk Of Prostate Cancer

    By | Submitted On May 29, 2010

    Many men are concerned that if they have a vasectomy they may be at an increased risk for prostate cancer. What does the research really show? Is there a strong correlation between vasectomies and prostate cancer?

    Over 50 million men throughout the world have had a vasectomy, one of the most common methods of contraception for men. This is a very common procedure for men over the age of 35 . Doctors perform over 500,000 vasectomies annually in the United States alone!

    A vasectomy procedure is a very simple outpatient surgery procedure that involves blocking or severing the vas deferens which delivers sperm to the semen. Semen without sperm cannot impregnate a woman. Usually the procedure can be performed in the physician’s office without the need to visit a surgery center. Only a local anesthetic is necessary and some men even choose to watch as the procedure is performed! A vasectomy is a safe, low-risk, low-cost contraceptive procedure.

    Because the number of vasectomies performed is so large, researchers are concerned if there is a link between vasectomies and prostate cancer risk. If vasectomies are related to an increased risk of cancer in the prostate, then the world needs to prepare for a prostate cancer outbreak!

    Jonathan is a freelance author, professional health educator, speaker and consultant. In his free time he likes to create websites. Visit his latest website to find a great deal on a heart monitor watch .

    Vasectomy And Prostate Cancer

    Vasectomy began to come into wide use in the early 1950s as a viable method of birth control. Due to its low cost, simplicity of technique, and measurable success, it became a popular sterilization technique for couples.

    A tubal ligation on a woman, while also effective, required more intense surgery, a hospital stay as well as the usual surgical risk. Thus, a vasectomy became the birth control choice for many couples.

    As the procedure became more popular, concerns arose that it could increase the risk of prostate-related problems, such as BPH, erectile dysfunction, and especially prostate cancer. Several studies in the 1980s and early 1990s examined these issues and seemed to suggest that men with vasectomies may have a higher risk of getting prostate cancer. 1

    However, recent studies have produced mixed results. The most current findings are still inconclusive. Most suggest that a vasectomy does not raise a mans risk for prostate cancer, but some suggest it introduces a minimal risk. This is a challenging issue to study.

    Men typically undergo a vasectomy when they decide they are done having children. In most cases, this is around the age of 35. Most prostate cancer is not detected until a man is considerably older, leaving a gap of about 30 or more years from the vasectomy procedure to a prostate cancer diagnosis.

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    Heres How The Analysis Worked

    For this new effort, researchers with the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota looked through 53 studies with a combined 15 million men who had a vasectomy and were then followed for up to 24 years. The Mayo researchers also controlled for a potential bias that made some of the earlier studies hard to interpret: specifically, that men who get a vasectomy are more likely to pay attention to their health, including prostate cancer screening with a PSA test. Scientists had speculated that reported links between vasectomy and prostate cancer could have more to with screening results and early detection than with vasectomy itself.

    To control for that possibility, the Mayo team stratified all 53 studies by whether their risk of bias was high, medium, or low.


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