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Prostate Cancer Risk Higher in Men Receiving Fertility Treatment

Men who undergo assisted reproduction have higher risk for prostate cancer, early-onset disease

THURSDAY, Sept. 26, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Men fathering children through assisted reproduction techniques rather than natural conception have an increased risk for prostate cancer, including early-onset disease, according to a study published online Sept. 25 in The BMJ.

Yahia Al-Jebari, from Lund University in Malmö, Sweden, and colleagues compared the risk and severity of prostate cancer between men achieving fatherhood by assisted reproduction and men conceiving naturally in a national register-based cohort study. The fathers of 1,181,490 children born in Sweden were classified according to fertility status by mode of conception: 20,618 by in vitro fertilization (IVF), 14,882 by intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI), and 1,145,990 by natural conception.

The researchers found that 0.37, 0.42, and 0.28 percent of men achieving fatherhood by IVF, ICSI, and nonassisted means, respectively, were diagnosed as having prostate cancer, with mean age at onset of 55.9, 55.1, and 57.1 years, respectively. Compared with men who conceived naturally, those who became fathers through assisted reproduction had a statistically significantly increased risk for prostate cancer (hazard ratios, 1.64 and 1.33 for ICSI and IVF, respectively). These men also had an increased risk for diagnosis before age 55 years (early-onset disease: hazard ratios, 1.86 and 1.51, respectively).

“This work shows that men fathering children by assisted reproduction are a high-risk group for prostate cancer at early ages,” the authors write. “Men undergoing assisted reproduction may merit further attention and comprise an easily accessible category of patients who may benefit from early screening.”

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