Theories about the causes of prostate cancer have been the subject of controversy for many years and one of the most persistent has been the supposed association between vasectomy and prostate cancer.
This vasectomy-prostate cancer hypothesis first gained significant traction when a Harvard study was conducted on this possible connection in the early ‘90s. The study involved a comparison between males who had had a vasectomy operation and men who had not and concluded that those who had vasectomies had an approximately 1.5 times higher risk of being diagnosed with prostate disease. In the ensuing years, this research has been hotly contested and criticised.
The majority of investigations that have followed have not established any association between vasectomy and prostate cancer risk. Although the ’93 study involved a large sample group and was thorough, professionals in the area have observed that patients who have this kind of procedure are probably being observed by a urology specialist and therefore have a better chance of early diagnosis.
The latest effort to set the record straight about whether vasectomy is linked to prostate cancer, involved a group of medical experts who compiled the most comprehensive literature review and evaluation on this subject matter ever undertaken, which covers three million men and 53 case studies. They discovered that there appears to be zero correlation between vasectomies and aggressive and/or terminal prostate tumours. This is heartening news for any men who have been concerned about a link between vasectomy and prostate cancer.
Experts also hope that the outcome of this study will encourage more men to consider a vasectomy as a lasting contraceptive method as this surgery is less invasive and risky than the female equivalent of tubal ligation. In any event, it’s one more risk factor to eliminate for any man concerned about his chance of being diagnosed with prostate cancer as medical advancements continue to be improved and refined.