Marijuana use tied to testicular cancer risk

By: Rob Hughes Email
By: Rob Hughes Email

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo (KKCO) Experts say it's a major problem that could be prevented. The study was published in the American Cancer Society's Journal, "Cancer." It says men under 35 who smoke pot are twice as likely to get testicular cancer. Experts say the study is interesting, but inconclusive. They say it's all about common sense and early detection.

"When i was 13, I was diagnosed with testicular cancer, stage 4," said Jordan Jones, 18, a testicular cancer survivor. Jones remembers it like yesterday. "I didn't know this, but I was told that I was inoperable. They told my parents that, and realizing afterwards that they've said that; it was kind of a shock knowing that I passed through something I wasn't supposed to pass through," recalled Jones. It wasn't an easy battle. "It's just hard, going through something that young, at an early age," said Jones.

His mom Kimberly was inspired to start the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation in 2009. She left a career in the mortgage industry, and now dedicates her life, passion, and talents to this noble cause. "We've connected with a lot of families around the world that feel a great need for spreading the word of testicular cancer awareness," said Kimberly. The foundation follows testicular cancer studies. "I contacted Dr. Craig Nichols, M.D., who is Lance Armstrong's primary oncologist, and he gave me some information on this exploratory observation," said Kimberly. Dr. Nichols is a world-renown oncologist who practices at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle, Washington. Kimberly cites Dr. Nichols, who says more research needs to be done.

"The study was done on just a few hundred young men; for it to be a definitive study, they would need a lot of patients in a more controlled study," said Kimberly.

But too many young men don't know about testicular cancer. "Every hour a young male is diagnosed, and every day a life is lost," said Kimberly.

Jordan healthy and doing well, but far too many men aren't. "Early detection is the key to survival; in late stage diagnosis; there are a lot of complications involved; the tumors can metastasize throughout the body, the abdomen, and spread through the body through the brain," explained Kimberly.

Jordan has inspired people worldwide, to not give up. "Educating yourself is key to beating this kind of thing; because I didn't know anything about it. I didn't know any of the side effects that I was going through, and if I did realize the side effect, I could've stopped it early on," recalled Jordan.

We did speak with the study's lead author, University of Southern California professor, Dr. Victoria Cortessis, MSPH, PhD. Dr. Cortessis says her research team is confident with the study, and their results are consistent with every other study on this topic. However, Dr. Cortessis says her team does plan to conduct more research in the future.

Testicular cancer has one of the highest cure rates of all cancers, in excess of 90 percent. To read the study in it's entirety, click on the PDF link at the top of this article.

For more information on the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation, visit www.testicularcancerawarenessfoundation.org, or visit their Facebook page.

Jordan is now a Colorado Mesa University freshman and plans to major in engineering.


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