Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier
WebMD

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine
WebMD

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion
    WebMD

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community
    WebMD

    Community

    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Cancer Health Center

Font Size
A
A
A

Smoking Marijuana Tied to Testicular Cancer

Could Pot Smoking Be Behind Rising Rates of Testicular Cancer?

Put It in Perspective continued...

That’s because the odds that a man will get testicular cancer are pretty slim to start with. About 1 in 400 white men are diagnosed by the time they are 35, according to the National Cancer Institute. So even if you double that risk to 1 in 200, any one man’s chances are still pretty low.

The study also doesn’t prove that marijuana causes cancer.

In fact, the relationship the researchers found wasn’t easy to explain. Men with lighter habits or who had given up pot smoking had a higher risk of testicular cancer than those who were current smokers or who reported heavier use.

Researchers don’t think that means smoking more pot is actually safer.

Other studies, which were larger, found that cancer risk increased with the size of a man’s pot smoking habit. The new study may simply be too small to show the same relationship.

Doctors aren’t sure why marijuana may increase the risk for certain kinds of testicular cancer. The active ingredient in the drug, THC, is known to disrupt hormone signals in the body. That may put cells in the testes on a path to cancer. More research is needed before researchers can say for sure.

The bottom line, says Stephen M. Schwartz, PhD, MPH, an epidemiologist at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, is that marijuana may not be as harmless a drug as some people think.

“The overall story is that there’s an increased risk in marijuana users,” says Schwartz, who was not involved in the research. “It’s particular to the kinds of testicular tumors that are the most aggressive and therefore the most likely to put a man’s life at risk.” What’s more, he says, the finding “is pretty consistent amongst these three studies, which is something we should be paying attention to.”

1 | 2

Today on WebMD

Colorectal cancer cells
New! I AM Not Cancer Facebook Group
Lung cancer xray
See it in pictures, plus read the facts.
 
sauteed cherry tomatoes
Fight cancer one plate at a time.
Ovarian cancer illustration
Real Cancer Perspectives
 
Jennifer Goodman Linn self-portrait
Blog
what is your cancer risk
HEALTH CHECK
 
colorectal cancer treatment advances
Video
breast cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
prostate cancer overview
SLIDESHOW
lung cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
 
ovarian cancer overview slideshow
SLIDESHOW
Actor Michael Douglas
Article