Harvard Men's Health Watch

Vasectomy and prostate cancer

vasectomy prostate cancer
Image: iStock

Ask the Doctor

Q. I had a vasectomy many years ago, at age 45. I recently read that this increases my risk of prostate cancer. Should I be concerned?

A. Despite the reports you've heard about the connection between vasectomy and prostate cancer, the evidence is weak for a cause-and-effect relationship. Right now, this hypothetical risk should not cause you undue concern.

What could account for the association between vasectomies and cancer? One possibility is that men who have had vasectomies also tend to see urologists more often or get checked for prostate cancer more frequently. They'd also be more likely to be diagnosed with early, low-risk prostate cancer, which is very common.

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »