It’s More Than Just The Testicles

June 24th, 2013 § 2 comments

An article in press in Fertility and Sterility is getting a lot of media attention. The study connected men seeking infertility care to a cancer registry in the State where the clinic was located. The researchers found that men with infertility had almost twice the chance of getting cancer and almost three times the chance if the man had no sperm in his ejaculate.

The authors of the study have a few theories about why cancer and male infertility may be connected. Cells need to divide just right to make sperm in the testes, and problems with division could lead to both problems with making sperm and the kind of bad division that makes cancer. It could also be that toxic substances in the environment may lead to both infertility and cancer.

Whatever the reason, we’re beginning to understand that problems with male fertility are just a tip of a much bigger iceberg that involves health in general. It’s more than just about the testicles.

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§ 2 Responses to It’s More Than Just The Testicles"

  • kate says:

    The abstract of the article did not say if there is a difference between patients with obstructive azoospermia vs. patients with non-obstructive azoospermia in regards to cancer risk. Is there a difference?

    • maledoc says:

      Hi Kate, men who had vasectomies were excluded, but judging from their description of who was included, other forms of obstructive azoospermia weren’t, so I can’t answer the question. It’s a limitation of the database that was studied.

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