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Prescribing Advice for GPs

An NHS Prescribing Advisers' Blog

Testicular cancer linked to marijuana use

An article due to be published in the journal Cancer has found an association between frequent or regular use of marijuana and testicular cancer. This story has been reported in the wider media (BBC).

The study was a population-based case-control study that compared data from 369 males diagnosed with cancer to 979 age-matched controls. All participants were questioned on their lifetime use of marijuana. The data were corrected for known cancer risk factors but it is unclear from the abstract if this including a correction for smoking regular cigarettes/tobacco.

Testicular cancer was significantly more likely in current users of marijuana (Odds ratio 1.7, 95% CI 1.1-2.5). Longer use and more frequent use of marijuana also increased the risk.

Action: Clinicians may find this data useful in discouraging younger men from using marijuana recreationally.

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