Marijuana, hemp and cannabis are common names for plants of the genus Cannabis. The term hemp is often used for cannabis strains grown specifically for production of paper, rope and cloth. Other cannabis strains are used to make recreational and medicinal drugs. The major difference between the main types of cannabis plants is the amount of the psychoactive compound tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) they contain.
Cannabis has been studied for the treatment of a number of conditions, including eczema, epilepsy, chronic pain, insomnia and symptoms of multiple sclerosis. The most significant benefits have been found in the treatment of chronic pain and symptoms of multiple sclerosis.
In a recent study, researchers analyzed data on 163 men diagnosed with testicular cancer and 292 men of similar characteristics without cancer to evaluate the potential association between recreational drug use and testicular cancer risk.
The researchers found that compared to men who had never used marijuana, men who had used marijuana at least once had twice the risk of developing testicular cancer. Conversely, cocaine use was linked to a decreased risk for cancer.
Testicular cancer may be identified as seminoma or non-seminoma. Non-seminoma turmors may be further identified as embryonal carcinoma, yolk sac carcinoma, choriocarcinoma and teratoma. Tumors are also often mixed with various types. When evaluated for tumor type, marijuana use was specifically linked to increased risk for non-seminoma and mixed tumors.
The authors concluded that marijuana use may be linked to an increased risk for testicular cancer. A study published in 2009 reported similar findings; however, this only suggests a potential association and does not prove a cause and effect relationship. Further research is necessary.
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