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No Link Found Between Vasectomy, Prostate Cancer Risk

Large study challenges previous research linking the procedure to slightly higher chance of disease

doctor and patient

TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- There is no connection between vasectomy and overall risk of prostate cancer or prostate cancer mortality, according to a study published online Sept. 19 in the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

Eric Jacobs, Ph.D., of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta, and colleagues reviewed data on 363,726 men aged 40 and older who participated in the Cancer Prevention Study II, a large research project organized by the American Cancer Society. A total of just over 42,015 men were identified as having had a vasectomy. "This cohort was particularly informative because of the large number of fatal prostate cancers, over 7,400, that occurred during 30 years of follow-up," Jacobs told HealthDay.

In addition, the study authors analyzed information on a subgroup of 66,542 men from the same study. They were followed, starting in 1992, for new diagnoses of prostate cancer. This group allowed the investigators to assess any link between vasectomy and overall risk of being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Based on this data, the investigators found no link between vasectomy and either the risk of prostate cancer or the risk of fatal prostate cancer.

"This new, large study provides some reassurance that vasectomy is unlikely to meaningfully increase risk of prostate cancer," Jacobs said.

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