He prostate cancer It is the second most frequent in men in our country, ahead of others such as lung or bladder. In Spain alone, 31,728 new cases were diagnosed during the past year, causing the death of 6,061 people, according to data from the Spanish Association Against Cancer. In fact, it is estimated that worldwide it affects more than 1.2 million men, so it is natural that men are attentive to the symptoms they might suffer.
A new study published in the 'British Medical Journal' notes that men who have children through fertility treatments may have an increased risk of prostate cancer. Specifically, researchers from Lund University in Sweden and the Sofia Medical University in Bulgaria discovered that those who had offspring through these treatments had up to a 64% more likely to develop this tumor.
The scientists, who analyzed more than one million men who fathered children between 1994 and 2014 in Sweden, they clarify in their report that the exact link between prostate cancer and infertility is unclear. But they pointed to genetic "abnormalities" on a chromosome As possible guilty.
A study indicates that men who father children thanks to fertility treatments may have a higher risk of suffering from the disease
It is known that deletions (a type of mutation in which genetic material is lost) of DNA on this chromosome cause male infertility, and genes of this same chromosome have been linked to this cancer.
Risk of early onset
"Men who were fathers through assisted reproduction techniques have a high risk of prostate cancer of early onset, "they point out in the study." Therefore, they constitute a risk group in which to carry out tests and long-term follow-up to detect this disease as soon as possible, "the letter notes.
The truth is that disease and male infertility are common, affect 10% of men. In fact, previous studies had already linked poor sperm quality with an increased risk of this pathology. On the other hand, others suggest that men have less likely to develop the disease if they do not have children.
From fatherhood to death
The researchers collected data from men from the conception of their children until the diagnosis of cancer of prostate, death or end of the study, which took place on December 31, 2014.
Of the total population of men who had stems naturally in the Scandinavian country, 3,244 (0.28%) developed prostate cancer. Meanwhile, of the men who received treatments related to in vitro fertilization (IVF) 0.37% developed this disease and 0.42% who received intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) as well.
In Sweden, ICSI is mainly used in men with "significantly impaired semen quality," the scientists say. Its use, therefore, suggests severe infertility. Specifically, the results revealed that boys who became fathers through this technique had 64% more likely to develop prostate cancer, while those who had children due to IVF had a 33% higher risk.
Sheffield University professor Allan Pacey explains to 'Dailymail' that "in recent years, there have been a number of studies that suggest that a diagnosis of male infertility could be a possible marker of future health conditions in men"." Therefore, it has been pointed out that the male's difficulty to breed could serve as 'a canary in the coal mine' for manly health, "he adds.
It is not because assisted reproduction techniques cause pathology, but because there may be a relationship between cancer and infertility
"This study is excellent and adds more evidence to the theory of the 'canary in the coal mine' by showing that Swedes who became parents using assisted reproduction techniques have an increased risk of prostate cancer years later, "says the specialist.
A common cause
Experts clarify that this It is not because these techniques cause the pathology, but probably both premises have a common cause.
"Perhaps all men who are diagnosed with a fertility problem at 20 or 30 years should be given a brochure explaining what this could mean for them when they are 50 and 60, "says the study. The researchers argue that screening should be considered important in this group of men, who seem to have a higher risk of contracting the disease.
Despite these inquiries, a team at Hammersmith Hospital criticized this study as"In the absence of a plausible mechanism of action or causality test, justifying the detection of prostate cancer in all infertile men is difficult."