A snippet from your friendly urologist

In a large, new study, researchers link vasectomy with an increased risk of high-grade and lethal prostate cancer.

Of course, I often tell you the majority of prostate cancers are incidental, low-grade, “occult” cancers that never invade, metastasize, or result in death. In fact, we shouldn’t even call these low-grade tumors “cancer” at all. But the cancer industry probably won’t admit this fact. They manipulate cancer statistics to give an illusion that mainstream cancer screenings and treatments work better than they really do.

But this new study is talking about the real deal–the kind of prostate cancer that does invade, metastasize, and kill you. It followed 49,405 participants in the Health Professionals Study who were 40 to 75 years old in 1986.

By 2000, 25 percent of men had undergone vasectomy. And by 2010, after being followed for 24 years, 732 had been diagnosed with high-grade prostate cancer and 811 with lethal prostate cancer.

Men who underwent vasectomies had a 19 percent higher risk of suffering lethal prostate cancer than men who didn’t have the procedure. Their risk of suffering high-grade cancer was 22 percent higher. And their risk of having advance-stage cancer was about 20 percent higher.

The researchers considered all the possible factors that could influence these disturbing findings. They looked at hormone levels, sexually transmitted infections, and cancer treatments. But these factors couldn’t explain the increased risk of prostate cancer.

The researchers also analyzed a subgroup of vasectomized men who were intensively screened for prostate cancer using the PSA test. (Presumably because they were felt to be at higher risk, for reasons unrelated to vasectomy.) In this group, men who underwent vasectomy had a 28 percent increased risk of prostate cancer overall.

More disturbing, men in this subgroup had 56 percent increased risk of dying from prostate cancer. Normally, the experts at the National Cancer Institute would jump all over any factor that increased cancer mortality by a whopping 56 percent. But the researchers actually attempted to minimize these findings!

They said they had no idea why vasectomy caused a markedly higher risk of serious prostate cancers. And urologists–who provide the vasectomies–were quick to counsel that they would not discourage men from having vasectomies. Indeed, vasectomy has become quite common in recent years. In fact, 15 percent of men in the U.S. undergo the procedure in their lifetime.

Here is another example of mainstream medicine ignoring good, solid research because they don’t understand “the mechanism of action.” Remember, today’s mainstream researchers and doctors can’t just accept that something works. Or that something happens in nature. They want to know why and how it happens.

So, when it comes to vasectomy clearly increasing prostate cancer risk, they say, “It can’t be true, because we, in our infinite wisdom, don’t understand how or why it could be true.”

Old-time healers used to warn of the dangers of backing up bodily fluids. They said it causes a kind of “congestion,” potentially leading to illness. Of course, today’s urologists don’t want you to think in these terms. They remind me of the song from the Wizard of Oz: “Clip, clip here; clip, clip there…that’s how we pass the day away in the merry old land of Oz.”

Of course, you can support prostate health in many ways.

I first discovered the importance of lycopene in human diet and nutrition while working with USDA’s Human Nutrition Research Lab 30 years ago. Little did we suspect it would prove to be a key to prostate health in particular.

My original research showed the best way to get lycopene is from concentrated cooked tomatoes in pastes, sauces and condiments. And newer research confirms my original findings. But beware of the plastic, BPA-lined cans. The acid in tomatoes can leach this chemical toxin into the contents. Instead, look for brands like Pomi tomatoes that come in tetra packs–or in boxed, paper cartons. Of course, the traditional way of “canning” tomatoes uses sealed, glass jars.

You can also find lycopene as an ingredient in high-quality dietary supplements.

Getting enough bioavailable minerals like magnesium, selenium and zinc is also important to prostate health. And emerging evidence shows natural vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids are also important.

But avoid all supplements that contain iron. My research with Nobel laureate Baruch Blumberg, Ph.D. links excess iron with all the common cancers in men, including prostate cancer.

Unfortunately, the true value of the PSA prostate cancer screening remains controversial. (As do the routine screenings for breast and colon cancer.)

The natural approaches I outlined above will help prostate health, whether or not you have had a vasectomy. But if you know a man who’s considering having a vasectomy, make sure he knows the facts. Pass along this Daily Dispatch to help him make an informed decision. As always, I print the citation for the study at the bottom of the page, below my closing salutation.


  1. “Vasectomy and Risk of Aggressive Prostate Cancer: A 24-Year Follow-Up Study,” Journal of Clinical Oncology, July 7, 2014, on-line