The relationship between prostate cancer and reproductive function is poorly understood, but there have been reports of paternity increasing the risk for prostate cancer. The relationship between male infertility and occurrence of prostate cancer was evaluated in an observational cohort study. Data on 22,562 men evaluated for infertility from 1967 to 1998 in 15 California infertility clinics were compared with an age- and geography-matched group of men from the general population. Of those diagnosed with infertility, 168 developed prostate cancer. Compared with the general population, the infertility group was not at higher risk for prostate cancer. However, those with male factor infertility had a significantly elevated risk for the disease compared with the matched control group, with a 2.6 times higher likelihood of developing high-grade prostate cancer. The results suggest that paternity status is actually associated with decreased prostate cancer risk, whereas male factor infertility seems to be a risk factor for aggressive prostate cancer. Early identification of male infertility may indicate a need for screening for prostate cancer (Walsh, T. et al. Cancer 2010, 116(9): 2140).
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