Cocaine, on the other hand...
PROBLEM: Testicular germ cell tumors (TGCTs), already the most common cancer in men aged 15 - 45, are being diagnosed at rising rates. Also noted to be on the rise in this demographic is marijuana use. Since 1) scientists have reason to believe that men are most vulnerable to TGCT risk factors during puberty, 2) research has suggested that some of the stuff found in marijuana smoke may be one of those risk factors, and 3) marijuana use is especially high among younger males, there just might be a connection.
- Pot May Improve Cognitive Functioning in Bipolar Disorder
- Medical Marijuana Becomes Party Doobies for Kids
- Allergies Associated with Decreased Risk of Brain Tumors
METHODOLOGY: A population of 163 men in Los Angeles County, California who had been diagnosed with TGCT between 1986 and 1991 participated in the study. Each subject was matched for age, race, ethnicity, and neighborhood of residence at time of diagnosis with up to four controls. Interviewers were sent to the participants' homes to ask them about basic demographic information, family and personal disease history, and personal use of tobacco, alcohol, and recreational drugs.
RESULTS: After adjusting for education, religiosity, history of cryptorchidism (undescended testicle -- a known risk factor for TGCT), and use of cocaine and amyl nitrite (a.k.a. poppers), people who had ever used marijuana had nearly twice the risk of developing testicular germ cell tumors compared to those who had never smoked up. When parsed out, the risk of developing nonseminoma (the more difficult to cure version of the cancer) was more than doubled, but did not increase significantly for seminoma.