The Minority/ Black Health Blog  

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Contrary to Popular Belief, Vasectomies Do NOT Cause Prostate Cancer, But...

Vasectomies and Prostate Cancer

About 500,000 men each year choose to undergo a vasectomy in the United States alone, according to Planned Parenthood. While vasectomies may be the safest and easiest form of surgical sterilization, there are other health factors to consider, like increased risk for prostate cancer.

A Harvard study shows...

Harvard researchers have been studying this connection for many years, and the results from tracking over 49,000 men were recently published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Out of all the men in the 24-year study, 6,000 (roughly 12 percent) developed prostate cancer. Among the 6,000, 811 died from the disease.

How this affects Black men who are already at greater risk

The study results are of particular concern among black men. Black men are already two times more likely to be diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 2.5 times more likely to die from it. Vasectomy surgery can raise those risks even higher, according to the results of the study.  Black men who have vasectomies increase their risk by 20 percent for developing the most aggressive type of prostate cancer.

Vasectomies, however, do not cause prostate cancer

It should be clearly noted that vasectomies do not cause prostate cancer. The Harvard study shows, however, that it increases risk factors among certain groups, such as African American men. Why? They don't know. Further study is ongoing to find the answer.
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