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Study Reports No Association Between Vasectomy and Prostate Cancer Incidence or Mortality

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Key Points

  • Vasectomy was not associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer mortality.
  • No association with overall incidence or incidence of high-grade disease was observed.

In an analysis of the Cancer Prevention Study II (CPS-II) study cohort reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, Jacobs et al found no significant association between vasectomy and overall prostate cancer incidence or mortality. A recent prospective study had shown an association of vasectomy with an increased risk of prostate cancer, including high-grade and lethal disease.

Study Details

The study involved assessment of the association between vasectomy and prostate cancer mortality among 363,726 men in the CPS-II cohort, including 7,451 who died of prostate cancer between 1982 and 2012. The association between vasectomy and prostate cancer incidence was assessed among 66,542 men in the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort, a subgroup of the CPS-II cohort, including 9,133 diagnosed with prostate cancer between 1992 and 2011.

Mortality and Incidence

In an analysis adjusting for age, race, education, body mass index, and smoking, vasectomy was not associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer mortality in the CPS-II cohort (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.01, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.93–1.10).

Likewise, in an analysis adjusting for age, race, education, body mass index, smoking, and history of prostate-specific antigen testing in the CPS-II Nutrition Cohort, vasectomy was not associated with an increased incidence of overall prostate cancer (HR = 1.02, 95% CI = 0.96–1.08) or high-grade prostate cancer (HR = 0.91, 95% CI = 0.78–1.07 for a Gleason score of 8–10). Vasectomy was associated with an increased risk for disease with a Gleason score ≤ 7 (HR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.01–1.15) and nonaggressive disease (HR = 1.08, 95% CI = 1.01–1.15) but not aggressive disease (HR  = 0.95, 95% CI = 0.84–1.08). No increased risk was observed according to tumor stage T1–T2, N0, M0 (HR = 1.03, 95% CI = 0.97–1.09) or ≥ T3 or N1 or M1 (HR = 0.93, 95% CI = 0.78–1.11).

The investigators concluded: “Results from these large prospective cohorts do not support associations of vasectomy with either prostate cancer incidence or prostate cancer mortality.”

The study was supported by the American Cancer Society.

Eric J. Jacobs, PhD, of the American Cancer Society, is the corresponding author of the Journal of Clinical Oncology article.

The content in this post has not been reviewed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology, Inc. (ASCO®) and does not necessarily reflect the ideas and opinions of ASCO®.


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