Male Infertility and Cancer Risks
Infertility can be a cause for concern for most young men. However, a new study published in the Journal of Urology links cancer and infertility, claiming that infertile men are at an increased risk for cancer. It means that the factors that affect the quality and quantity of sperms in your body can also raise your risk for tumor and cancer.
According to the study finding, infertile men are at a greater risk of all types of cancer, especially testis cancer and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Causes of Male Infertility
A number of causes can contribute to a low sperm count and infertility in men, including environmental, medical, and lifestyle causes. Earlier, a study conducted by Stanford University School of Medicine researchers and published in the June 20, 2013 issue of Fertility and Sterility, men with no or low sperm face a greater risk of developing cancer compared to others with a healthy sperm count.
Medical causes of infertility include:
- Infections: Sexually transmitted diseases or prostatitis can affect sperm production and quality.
- Varicocele: Sometimes varicose veins that drain the testicle can become enlarged or swollen, which can affect sperm count.
- Ejaculation issues: A previous surgery of the prostate or bladder or a health condition like diabetes can cause the semen to run into the bladder during climax instead of being ejected from the penis.
- Benign tumor: Cancer affecting reproductive organs of a male can affect reproductive hormones and thus cause infertility.
- Medications: Certain therapies or medications can reduce male fertility. These may include chemotherapy, testosterone replacement therapy, antifungal medications, and ulcer drugs.
Most previous studies find a connection between testicular cancer and infertility, this study finds a correlation between all types of cancer and male infertility.
Obstructive azzospermia and infertility
Obstructive azzospermia is primarily caused by a blockage that prevents flow and ejaculation of healthy sperm in the testes. In non-obstructive azoospermia, testes produce little or no sperm at all.
The study highlights that infertile men without any sperm or ineffective sperm were highly at a risk of developing malignancies, such as melanoma, central nervous system, prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and stomach cancer.
Men with azoospermia face a higher risk of cancer. Young men diagnosed as azoospermic are prone to cancer. The study recommends young men with azoospermia to have regular checkups to look for signs and symptoms of tumor or cancer and pay attention to their health while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.