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Southern California Urology Institute

Southern California Urology Institute
Gary Bellman, M.D., F.R.C.S.
Board Certified Urologist
Fellowship Trained, Certified in Robotic Surgery

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Low Sperm Count Can Mean Increased Cancer Risk

By: Dr. Gary Bellman on June 25, 2013, 1:00 pm

Should infertile young men seek cancer screening? Not necessarily…
Among recent studies conducted from men experiencing the absence of sperm(azoospermia), has suggested that this group of men to be at a higher risk of cancer, but it’s unclear if more intense screening would be helpful.  Reproductive-aged men in their 20s-40s often times do not have primary care doctors or really ever visit a doctor–seeing a physician about fertility may be the first time they seek healthcare.

Approximately, 15 percent among 4 million men, ranging 15-45 years of age are infertile.  Of these, some 600,000 (an estimated 15 percent) are azoospermic.  The studies have established that for some of these men, the cause may be because of a genetic deficiency.

Men diagnosed as azoospermic before the age of 30 appear to have a particularly pronounced cancer risk compared with their same-aged peers.  This particular study advices young men who’ve been diagnosed as azoospermic to be aware of their heightened risk and make sure to get periodic check-ups with that in mind.

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