Study Links Cannabis to Testicular Cancer

THC may intercept cancer-fighting chemicals
By Ambreen Ali,  Newser User
Posted Feb 9, 2009 5:45 AM CST
The cancer risk increases with frequency and duration of use, researchers say.   (AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)
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(Newser) – Cannabis use has been linked to a significant increase in the risk of developing testicular cancer, the Independent reports. Those who light up have a 70% higher risk of getting nonseminoma cancer—found in younger men—and the odds worsen with frequency and duration of use, the research has found. Some scientists dismiss the first-ever link between marijuana and the ailment, saying the study's sample size was too small.

Chronic use of the drug is known to reduce sperm quality and boost impotence, which has been previously linked to testicular cancer. The testes have THC receptors, and the study suggests cannabis mellows out a naturally produced anti-cancer chemical. Critics insist that testicular cancer—whose prevalence has doubled since 1979—affects only a tiny portion of the 3 million cannabis users.