• Researchers link vasectomy to increased risk of prostate cancer
  • February 20, 2015
  • Law Firm: Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh Jardine P.C. - Englewood Office
  • A new study by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health revealed men who had vasectomies faced an increased risk of an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

    Prostate cancer is the most common cancer found in men in the U.S., according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Most forms of the cancer grow slowly and cause few health problems.

    However, aggressive forms of prostate cancer can be lethal. There have been approximately 233,000 new cases of prostate cancer in the United States in 2014, according to the National Cancer Institute. There have also been 29,480 deaths related to prostate cancer in the U.S. this year alone.

    Because of conflicting reports regarding the link between vasectomies and prostate cancer, the researchers conducted a study of 49,405 men in the U.S. between the ages of 40 and 74. Of the study participants, 6,023 were diagnosed with prostate cancer by 2010, and 12,321 men had vasectomies.

    The researchers found the men with vasectomies had a slightly increased risk of prostate cancer overall, and a higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer. While men with vasectomies have an increased risk of dangerous and lethal prostate cancer, this type of cancer is rare, according to The New York Times.

    Many physicians like Dr. James M. McKiernan from the Department of Urology at Columbia University, believe the link is not strong enough to advise patients against having a vasectomy.

    "If someone asked for a vasectomy, I would have to tell them that there is this new data in this regard, but it's not enough for me to change the standard of care," said McKiernan. "I would not say that you should avoid vasectomy."