Male Infertility Linked to Prostate Cancer

by Jennifer Bunn, RN

The American Cancer Society has recently de-emphasized screening for prostate cancer, stating that men should be counseled by their doctors regarding their personal risk for prostate cancer, and should make up their own mind about screening based on the most current information and their own risk for the disease. The reason for this laid-back attitude lies in the fact that most prostate cancers are very slow-growing and are not usually immediately life-threatening. Overzealous treatment can result in potentially damaging consequences, such as incontinence and impotence.

However, a new study has discovered a group of men who should not heed advice to relax regarding prostate screening. Researchers tracked down more than 22,000 men who had been diagnosed as infertile and discovered that these men had more than twice the rate of aggressive prostate cancer in comparison to the rest of the fertile male population.

Men who are infertile may be at higher risk for aggressive prostate cancer, and perhaps should be screened earlier than their fertile counterparts. Physicians who treat infertile males should consider testing for the disease earlier and providing this information to their male patients who have been diagnosed with infertility. More studies should be done to clarify the risk of prostate cancer in infertile men.

Source: Infertility linked to prostate cancer

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