How Circumcision And Lower Prostate Cancer Risk Are Linked


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.

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  1. All of these “studies” that link circumcision to the prevention of some potential disease are flawed. There is no part of the human body which has no disease vector. All parts of the human body are precious, especially those parts that exist on our genitalia. It is a violation of medical ethics to not place first the highest principle, that of preserving bodily integrity. To cut the body when it is healthy – when there are treatment methods available when it becomes diseased – and when those treatment methods are effect and more conservative than the cutting of the body from surgery, then to cut the human body is a violation of medical ethics and a crime.

    To justify circumcision the medical community must devalue the precious nature of the foreskin – with its thousands of erogenous nerves with sexual function that do not exist anywhere else on the body. It must ignore the excruciating pain it causes to male infants. It must ignore the psychological trauma a baby boy experiences from being strapped down and having his genitals cut without pain relief, without consent, and for no immediate treatment of his health. It must ignore that it is fostering a violent sexual act committed by adults against children. It must ignore that to cut a perfectly healthy body part is to cause harm to the human body. It must ignore that through application on 85% or more of the US male population, it has successfully dehumanized an entire population of men.

    Men’s genitals are so unimportant to the medical community it’s OK, even in the minds of doctors, to just cut parts of them off. How sick.

    Even if there is a causal link between circumcision and some minor reduced rate of prostate cancer, it is disturbing that humans are capable of ignoring all the harm circumcision causes in order to promote this barbaric practice.

  2. A classic case of data-mining. There was NO significant correlation between being never-circumcised and prostate cancer. So they took the men circumcised after they’d had sex (who were very slightly MORE likely to end up with prostate cancer) and added them to the never-circumcised. Even so, the statistical significance was marginal (95% confidence intervals reaching 1.0).

    If the link is via STDs, you’d think there would be a significant difference in reported STDs between the men with and without prostate cancer, but there isn’t – so the researchers have to resort to asymptomatic and unreported STDs, which are a bit like invisible pink elephants.

    Even if the benefit was rock-solid, it amounts to 39 infant circumcisions, with all their risks and harms, wasted for every cancer prevented. But “15% reduction” looks more impressive.

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