Vasectomy, a surgical procedure for male sterilisation, may help you prevent pregnancy permanently, but it poses increased risk of prostate cancer, and a stronger risk for advanced or lethal prostate cancer, says a study. The effect appeared to be stronger among men who had a vasectomy at a younger age, according to the study. “The results support the hypothesis that vasectomy is associated with an increased risk of advanced or lethal prostate cancer,” said Lorelei Mucci, associate professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) in the US.
The researchers found that the association remained even among men who received regular screening, suggesting the increased risk of lethal cancer cannot be explained by diagnostic bias.
“This study follows our initial publication on vasectomy and prostate cancer in 1993, with 19 additional years of follow-up and tenfold greater number of cases,” Mucci added.
The researchers analysed data from 49,405 US men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, who were followed up for 24 years from 1986 to 2010. The results showed a 10 percent increased risk of prostate cancer overall in men who had a vasectomy. Vasectomy was not significantly associated with risk of low-grade cancer, but it was associated with a stronger risk of advanced and lethal prostate cancer, with an increased risk of 20 percent and 19 percent respectively.
Among men who received regular screening, the relative increase in risk of lethal prostate cancer was 56 percent.