Advocating for Evidence Based Marijuana Policy
Category Archives: Cancer
Marijuana use and risk of lung cancer: a 40-year cohort study
Russell C. Callaghan • Peter Allebeck • Anna Sidorchuk
Cancer Causes Control (2013) 24:1811–1820
Purpose Cannabis (marijuana) smoke and tobacco smoke contain many of the same potent carcinogens, but a critical—yet unresolved—medical and public-health issue is whether cannabis smoking might facilitate the development of lung cancer. The current study aimed to assess the risk of lung cancer among young marijuana users. Methods A population-based cohort study examined men (n = 49,321) aged 18–20 years old assessed for cannabis use and other relevant variables during military conscription in Sweden in 1969–1970. Participants were tracked until 2009 for incident lung cancer outcomes in nationwide linked medical registries. Cox regression modeling assessed relationships between cannabis smoking, measured at conscription, and the hazard of subsequently receiving a lung cancer diagnosis.
At the baseline conscription assessment, 10.5 % (n = 5,156) reported lifetime use of marijuana and 1.7 % (n = 831) indicated lifetime use of more than 50 times, designated as ‘‘heavy’’ use. Cox regression analyses (n = 44,284) found that such ‘‘heavy’’ cannabis smoking was significantly associated with more than a twofold risk (hazard ratio 2.12, 95 % CI 1.08–4.14) of developing lung cancer over the 40-year follow-up period, even after statistical adjustment for baseline tobacco use, alcohol use, respiratory conditions, and socioeconomic status.
Our primary finding provides initial longitu- dinal evidence that cannabis use might elevate the risk of lung cancer. In light of the widespread use of marijuana, especially among adolescents and young adults, our study provides important data for informing the risk–benefit calculus of marijuana smoking in medical, public-health, and drug-policy settings.
WTR-RI Research and Analysis Team note: The three articles referenced below relate results of studies published in the journal Cancer. They indicate that marijuana use in puberty and adolescence may double the risk of testicular cancer, a condition that is reported to have a usual prevalence rate of .5% in the general population.
Population-based case-control study of recreational drug use and testis cancer risk confirms an association between marijuana use and nonseminoma risk†
John Charles A. Lacson MS, Joshua D. Carroll BA, Ellenie Tuazon MPH, Esteban J. Castelao MD, PhD, Leslie Bernstein PhD and Victoria K. Cortessis MSPH, PhD
Cancer Volume 118, Issue 21, pages 5374–5383, 1 November 2012
Marijuana use and testicular germ cell tumors
Britton Trabert PhD et. al.
Cancer Volume 117, Issue 4, pages 848–853, 15 February 2011
Association of marijuana use and the incidence of testicular germ cell tumors
Janet R. Daling PhD et al.
CancerVolume 115, Issue 6, pages 1215–1223, 15 March 2009