Vasectomy and risk for prostate cancer (for hopefully the last time!)

Your sitemaster sincerely hopes that this is indeed going to be the very last time he will ever have to deal with this topic. He’s been saying much the same thing for nearly 30 years now!

Bhindi et al. have just published a new meta-analysis of data from 53 different studies involving a total of 14,706,276 men (yes that’s more than 14 million men altogether) that has concluded that there was:

no association between vasectomy and high-grade, advanced-stage, or fatal prostate cancer. There was a weak association between vasectomy and any prostate cancer that was closer to the null with increasingly robust study design. This association is unlikely to be causal and should not preclude the use of vasectomy as a long-term contraceptive option.

In other words, having a vasectomy does not significantly increase one’s risk for having prostate cancer.

This new study comes to exactly the same conclusion as the prospective study of data from 84,000+ men published earlier this year and reported by us at the time. However, we shall repeat, for the benefit of those who think this is all a conspiracy to hide the truth from them, what we stated at the end of that prior commentary:

It is unlikely that this study will actually end men’s worries that having a vasectomy might be associated with an increased risk for prostate cancer (after all, some men are looking for any excuse not to have a vasectomy). However, what this study does do is suggest that if there is any increase in risk it is certainly small, and it is most likely to be an increase in risk for low-risk forms of prostate cancer that are unlikely to lead to metastasis or prostate cancer-specific mortality anyway.

2 Responses

  1. Well crap! Now I’m going to have to go find someone else to blame. (Sarcasm intended!)

  2. Woe is me! I had a vasectomy in 1972 and 20 years later was diagnosed with our insidious prostate cancer. I have never considered that vasectomy in any way connected to the subsequent prostate cancer diagnosis.

    As an aside, my vasectomy was performed at a teaching hospital in London, England, and the physician asked if I would mind having his students observe. I said of course not, and what a surprise to have about a dozen aspiring female nurses surrounded behind him to observe his special technique of separating and closing off that plumbing in the “nether region.” :-)

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