Vasectomies Aren’t Linked to Prostate Cancer, Researchers Find

Vasectomies Aren’t Linked to Prostate Cancer, Researchers Find
Men who undergo vasectomies do not increase their risk of developing prostate cancer, according to researchers from Australia. Their study, "The Effect of Vasectomy Reversal on Prostate Cancer Risk: International Meta-Analysis of 684,660 Men with Vasectomies," appeared in the Journal of Urology. Despite significant research, data on the link between vasectomies and the rate of prostate cancer have been inconsistent, with some studies finding a limited effect, while others did not find any association. "The link between vasectomy and prostate cancer has been debated for many years after two studies from the early 1990s showed an elevated risk of prostate cancer in men who had undergone vasectomies," Sean Randall, the study’s lead author, said in a press release. A potential explanation for the results demonstrating an elevated risk is an experimental bias, the researchers observed. Because prostate cancer often goes undetected throughout a patient's lifetime, any factor potentially increasing its diagnosis, such as the screening related to a vasectomy, could artificially increase cancer rates compared to men who are not undergoing such screening tests. Among the potential biological mechanisms by which vasectomy could induce prostate cancer are changes in levels of hormones, growth factors, and immune factors, as well as the production of sperm antibodies. If vasectomies increases the risk of prostate cancer, then vasectomy reversals should lower such a
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José is a science news writer with a PhD in Neuroscience from Universidade of Porto, in Portugal. He has also studied Biochemistry at Universidade do Porto and was a postdoctoral associate at Weill Cornell Medicine, in New York, and at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. His work has ranged from the association of central cardiovascular and pain control to the neurobiological basis of hypertension, and the molecular pathways driving Alzheimer’s disease.

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