For many men today circumcision continues to be an idea that remains utterly unappealing. Although it is more a matter of tradition, circumcision holds one advantage men should really look into. A new study explains how circumcision and lower prostate cancer risk are linked.
When it comes to cancer risks, all physicians today say there’s no better treatment for cancer than prevention. Although in some cases, prevention might not actually change much, most times knowing what factors can or cannot raise the odds of developing cancer may really save lives. As a new study shows, circumcision ranks as one of the factors that can actually reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer.
Researchers with Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center studied about 3,400 men, out of which more than half were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Out of all the studied patients, about 70 percent of them had been circumcised. However, scientists found out that the men that had their circumcision done before they had their first sexual intercourse experience featured a 15 percent decreased risks of developing prostate cancer.
Janet L. Standford, co-author of the study, said: “From these results, we estimate that circumcision may prevent about 10 percent of all prostate cancer cases in the general population”.
Jonathan L. Wright, also author of the study, sets the record straight: “I would not go out and advocate for widespread circumcision to prevent prostate cancer. We see an association, but it doesn’t prove causality”.
The study in focus is only the latest to show there’s a link between circumcision and a decreased risk of developing several health disorders, apart from cancer. For instance, the World Health Organization is already an advocate for circumcision as a prevention method and a way to reduce the risk of contracting HIV by heterosexual men.
Obviously, not everybody agrees with the promotion of circumcision as a way to prevent prostate cancer. Elizabeth Kavaler, urologist at NY Lenox Hill Hospital, believes it’s a stretch to recommend circumcision as prostate cancer prevention. “Urologists recommend circumcision at birth for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases and penile cancer”.
Another urologist, Rick Bennett with the Beaumont Hospital, told WebMD that there’s surely a somewhat “intriguing relationship” between prostate cancer and circumcision, but he’d rather not make such a decision based on that alone.