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Houston Fertility Center

Men, Infertility, & Cancer

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on March 26, 2009

A large study published in February's Archives of Internal Medicine links testicular cancer to men who are seeking fertility treatment.

The researchers analyzed data from over 22,500 men in couples who sought fertility treatment between 1967 and 1998. After comparing against cancer registry data, the study authors concluded that the men were 1.3 times more likely to develop testicular cancer, and that those with male factor infertility were 2.8 times more likely.

Rather than believe that infertility treatment is the culprit, the researchers feel it's more plausible that the men have something else in common, for example, exposure to certain environmental toxins or faulty DNA repair, that increases their risks of both infertility and cancer.

There are times when seeking a diagnosis for fertility problems can result in other seemingly unrelated health conditions turning up. This study is another example of how a body's reproductive function can sometimes serve as a red flag indicator for overall health.

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