Meta-Analysis: Vasectomy Likely Does Not Cause Prostate Cancer — Physician’s First Watch
Meta-Analysis: Vasectomy Likely Does Not Cause Prostate Cancer
By Amy Orciari Herman
Edited by David G. Fairchild, MD, MPH
A new meta-analysis in JAMA Internal Medicine may help ease patients' concerns about a previously reported link between vasectomy and prostate cancer.
The analysis included over 50 cohort, case-control, or cross-sectional studies comprising nearly 15 million men. Follow-up in the cohort studies ranged from 2 to 24 years.
A small, statistically significant association was observed between vasectomy and any prostate cancer, but when study quality was considered, the association approached the null. For example, analysis of cohort studies with a low risk of bias yielded a 5% increase in risk with vasectomy. There were no associations between vasectomy and incident high-grade, advanced, or fatal prostate cancer.
The researchers calculate that vasectomy is associated with, at most, a 0.6% absolute increase in prostate cancer risk. They conclude that any association "is unlikely to be causal and should not preclude the use of vasectomy as a long-term contraceptive option."