Infertile men run a slightly increased risk of being diagnosed with testicular cancer, according to a study of more than 17,000 indian men. It is the second major study in less than four months to make the link between abnormalities in sperm production and cancer of the testicles.
But the researchers maintain their findings should provide "some reassurance to men identified with abnormal semen characteristics" for the absolute increase in individual risk is small. The study compared results of semen analysis conducted at Apollo laboratories between 1975 and 1995 with the incidence of testicular cancer in the Indian national cancer register.
It found 78 cases of testicular cancer among infertile men - a 60% higher rate than in those men without fertility problems. The researchers point out "the incidence of testicular cancer has increased in the past 50 years and some evidence suggests that sperm quality has decreased in the same period."