USC researchers have found a correlation between recreational marijuana use and the possibility of getting specific types of testicular cancer, according to a study published online on Monday.
The study, published in the American Cancer Society’s journal, cautioned that therapeutic use of marijuana by young men could possibly result in a higher risk of getting testicular germ cells. The study came about because of a steady increase in the frequency of testicular germ cell tumors during the past few decades.
Victoria Cortessis, an assistant professor of preventive medicine, compared the self-reported recreational drug use of 163 young men with testicular cancer with that of 292 healthy men. Those with a history of using marijuana were twice as likely to have subtypes of cancer that tend to occur in young men and have a worse prognosis.
“We do not know what marijuana triggers in the testis that may lead to carcinogenesis,” Cortessis said in a press release. “Although, we speculate that it may be acting through the endocannabinoid system—the cellular network that responds to the active ingredient in marijuana—since this system has been shown to be important in the formation of sperm.”