It is being reported that men who have undergone vasectomies may have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer and a bigger risk of contracting the most aggressive form of the illness, according to a major research study. The Harvard investigation on 50,000 males, which has been the leading study to inspect the links between sterilization and cancer, found that men who had went through the process had a 10 percent higher chance of coming down with the sickness.
The study also found a sharp rise in the chance of contracting the most aggressive form of prostate cancer. The outcome appeared to show up more steadily with males who had vasectomies at earlier ages with the chance of developing the most aggressive form of disease in men who had undergone the surgical procedure before the age of 38.
The research report has been hailed as very important and doctors are saying that the results show that men need to be better informed about the risks of vasectomies before they decide to have the procedure done.
Prostate cancer is considered the most common form of cancer in men with it affecting 40,000 males annually and causes at least 10,000 deaths. One in eight men will come down with the disease in the span of their lifetime, with the huge majority of cases happening after the men turn age 65.
Most of the cancer cases are considered to be “slow growing” and medical supervision often recommends making sure to keep the disease under observation. Numerous males who suffer from the cancer will not suffer any harm from it, while treatment selections, such as chemotherapy, radiation and surgery can all cause severe side effects. Some of them include incontinence and erectile dysfunction.
The researchers at Harvard Medical School trailed over 50,000 men, who were between the ages of 40 and 75, with the research starting in 1986. It lasted nearly 25 years, up until 2010. The findings, which were printed up in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, discovered during through this time period, that 25 percent of males in the study underwent vasectomies and nearly 6,025 cases of prostate cancer were detected.
There were around two percent of men who came down with the most aggressive form of the disease, the research study discovered. There had been a few previous studies performed which proposed a connection between sterilization and cancer, but the new study has been the very first to eradicate any “bias factors”, such as men who had vasectomies were more likely be to diagnosed because they were getting check-ups more often.
Professor Malcolm Mason, who is a prostate cancer professional, explained that the research study was tremendously important and so far, the largest one ever done looking at the connection between prostate cancer and vasectomies. He explained that even though the chance of developing prostate cancer after having a vasectomy appears to be slight but of the small number of males who do go on to come down with the cancer, a greater number will develop an aggressive type.
Mason continued saying that vasectomies are still a very important contraception choice, but this evidence needs to be part of the discussion before any man makes decides as to whether it is right for him or not.
Scientists explained that it was unclear why the technique had any impact on cancer, but stated it could be due to that it related to the proteins in semen after the vasectomy. Research study lead author Lorelei Mucci, who works as a professor at Harvard, said the results proposed higher risks among men who had undergone the procedure before age 38 as was mentioned above.
She declared that they took note in males who had undergone vasectomies earlier in life because there seemed to be a greater chance of coming down with advanced or deadly forms of prostate cancer. This could be due to the impact on the prostate because anything that might happen in earlier life can increase cancer risks when changes happen to the body.
Dr. Iain Frame, who is a director of research with the study, explained that everyone needs to remain guarded about how the research study results are construed. Although there does seem to appear that there is a surge in aggressive prostate cancer in men who have previously had vasectomies, this actually translates as a fairly slight increase in the amount of males who actually develop the aggressive prostate cancer. Regardless, the research study has been released that states men who have undergone vasectomies may have a greater chance of developing prostate cancer and a bigger risk of contracting the most aggressive form of the illness.
By Kimberly Ruble