33MD for February 9, 2009

POSTED: Monday, February 9, 2009 - 6:51pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 3, 2010 - 10:57pm

While not much is known about the long-term effects of smoking marijuana, a new study suggests it could significantly increase a man’s risk for testicular cancer. Researchers at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center compared 350 men with testicular cancer to 1,000 healthy men. They found those who were marijuana users had a 70% increased risk for developing the disease. The risk was even higher for men who had used it for longer periods of time. While experts say their findings are strong, more studies are needed.

Dr. Stephen Schwartz of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center says, “I wouldn’t add it as a risk factor. We’re the only one study that’s looked at this question and whether it holds up as a risk factor that we can count on in the long-term on I don’t know yet.”

Experts note testicular cancer has been steadily increasing over the past 60 years in conjunction with the rise in marijuana use.

Researchers at Oregon State University studied how levels of absolute humidity interacts with the flu virus. In a study done on guinea pigs, the animals were exposed to different temperatures and humidity levels to determine a “trigger point” for flu transmission. Flu transmission went up 50% when humidity levels were low and virus survival went up 90%