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A new study that was conducted at the University of Washington and published in the journal Cancer suggests that male infertility increases the risk that a man develops the aggressive, potentially fatal form of prostate cancer. Dr. Thomas J. Walsh, who is an assistant professor of urology at the mentioned above University brings out that this is the study that found a link between male infertility and prostate cancer. There were some hits about this link in previous studies, but no direct correlation.

This study used a statewide database of prostate cancer cases maintained in California, and then the incidence of prostate cancer in that general population was compared with the incidence of prostate cancer in more than 20 thousand men evaluated for infertility at 15 California centers in period of more than 30 years (between 1967 and 1998). The study found that the overall incidence of prostate cancer in the two groups was about the same almost no difference at all. However, when researchers observed the aggressiveness of the tumors with Gleason score (def: Gleason score looks for a degree of abnormal organization of a prostate tumor), they found a shocking proof of a link between infertility and aggressive form of prostate cancer. Researchers found that the incidence of cancers with high Gleason scores was 2.6 times higher in the infertile men.

The link between infertility and incidence of aggressive prostate cancer is definite, but the explanations for the link are yet to be discovered. There are some possibilities that there could be some underlying genetic abnormalities on the male chromosome; it is possible infertile men have a deficit in their ability to repair DNA. These facts are yet to be proven, but the researchers think the cause is in male hormones. This finding might represent a great step forward in medical practice: it should be exercised that a man who has inability to father children should have the possibility to be screened more aggressively for prostate cancer. Additionally, I would like to bring out also that males who have infertility problems shouldn't panic about cancer and shouldn't be alarmed unduly. Dr. Walsh says the absolute risk of cancer is still very low.

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