Common procedure may be linked to prostate cancer

A new study conducted by Harvard University suggests that there may be a link between vasectomies and prostate cancer, the second leading cause of death among American men.

Published online in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, the study states that male participants who’d had a vasectomy showed a 10 percent increase in risk of developing aggressive prostate cancer. Vasectomies were associated with a 20 percent higher risk of advanced prostate cancer and a 19 percent greater risk of terminal prostate cancer. These risks appeared most strongly among men who’d had their vasectomies early in life.

About 15 percent of males in the U.S. have had a vasectomy. The procedure takes about 10 minutes and is performed under local anesthetic. During the procedure, a segment of the tubes that carry sperm from the testicles is removed and the ends are sealed off. A vasectomy is a common alternative to a woman’s tubal ligation because it is cheaper, safer and thought to have fewer complications.

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Cara McCarthy