Circumcision Cuts Prostate Cancer Risk Scientific American
Circumcision reduces prostate cancer risk UPI
Circumcision Linked to Lower Risk for Prostate Cancer, Study Finds Yahoo News
And my favorite,
Males of the Mideast Rejoice: Circumcision Reduces Prostate Cancer Asian News International
In fact, not only is it just an association, it is a very weak association at best.
The research was a retrospective case-control study of men who self-reported their circumcision status, sexual histories and other information. There were 1754 men with and 1645 without prostate cancer in the study. The numbers of circumcised men differed by only 2.7% [1207 (68.8%) with cancer vs. 1176 (71.5%) without cancer.}
The relative risk of developing prostate cancer was not significantly different in circumcised and uncircumcised men until the authors looked at those who had been circumcised after their first episode of sexual intercourse. The numbers of men who had been circumcised after their first sexual encounter was only 68 (3.9%) of the men with prostate cancer and 41 (2.5%) of those without. Although the relative risk reduction was 15%, the confidence intervals were wide (73% to 99%) and were just barely significant.
And don’t forget, this is a relative, not an absolute, risk reduction of only 15%.
Most of the paper’s discussion involved circumstantial evidence that because infection has been linked to some cancers, infection of the prostate or penile skin may possibly play a role in the development of prostate cancer.
So does circumcision actually reduce the risk of contracting prostate cancer?
It shouldn’t surprise anyone, but I am skeptical. Do you really believe that one act of sexual intercourse before a man is circumcised would really have an impact? What if the man did not develop an infection after that episode or any subsequent episodes?
Don’t believe me? Here is a quote from Internal Medicine News, which not only had a more subdued headline, it published one of the few articles that featured the opinion of an outside expert, Dr. Stephen J. Freedland, a urologist at Duke. He said:
"This study provides modest evidence: a 15% reduction. It’s not as if we should recommend that every baby be circumcised because it can reduce prostate cancer by 15%. This is more of a research finding,"
Those males of the Mideast should probably temper their rejoicing until some more solid evidence appears. Meanwhile, they may want to consider a study from 2003 suggesting that masturbating may prevent prostate cancer.