Many men consider the value of having a vasectomy. This longstanding medical procedure disables the progression of sperm from the testicles through tiny tubules in the penis. It takes very little time to perform and is nearly 100% successful across the board. In the United States, vasectomies rank #4 on the list of commonly used birth control methods. The idea that such a useful procedure could be linked to prostate cancer is concerning. Here, we look at what research indicates about this theory.
The theory that vasectomy could elevate prostate cancer risk has been studied for more than twenty years. Early research conducted in the 1990s suggested a correlation between the two. However, findings from that research have been debated ever since reports were published. Now, we have new data to observe to help us determine if vasectomy risks do exist.
Researchers from New Curtin University in Australia conducted a comprehensive case study of over 650,000 men located on three different continents. The study included men who had undergone a vasectomy as well as men who had undergone vasectomy reversal. Researchers wanted to examine the possible link between vasectomy and prostate cancer as well as a relationship between vasectomy reversal and a decreased risk of prostate cancer. Their conclusion after careful observation was that neither vasectomy nor vasectomy reversal had any impact on a man’s risk for prostate cancer.
Additional research has been conducted by epidemiologists from the American Cancer Society. These researchers observed case data of over 360,000 men who were originally participants in the Cancer Prevention Study II. Of the nearly 364,000 cases assessed, just over 42,000 involved vasectomies. At the conclusion of their researcher, scientists determined that no clear link between vasectomy and prostate cancer exists.
But Something May Be Going On
The expansion of research in the evaluation of vasectomies and prostate cancer risk has revealed an interesting theory. Scientists believe that the reason why many men who have chosen to have a vasectomy may later be diagnosed with prostate cancer could be that these men are more engaged in routine health care screenings, including PSA tests at recommended intervals.
Choosing to have a vasectomy is a very personal decision that every man must make through careful consideration. Having up-to-date information regarding potential side effects of a vasectomy can help our patients make a confident choice for their life. To consult with us about vasectomy or vasectomy reversal, call our Plano office at (972) 403-5425.