Circumcision Reduces Risk of Prostate Cancer

Circumcision before first sexual activity linked to 15 percent decrease in prostate cancer risk

MONDAY, March 12 (HealthDay News) -- Circumcision prior to first sexual intercourse correlates with a reduced risk of prostate cancer (PCa), according to a study published online March 12 in Cancer.

Jonathan L. Wright, M.D., from the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, and colleagues analyzed data from population-based studies of 1,754 cases with PCa and a disease-free control group of 1,645 men to estimate the relative risk of PCa by circumcision status. Circumcision status, age at circumcision, age at first intercourse, and history of sexually transmitted infections and prostatitis were recorded.

The researchers found that, compared with uncircumcised men, circumcision before first intercourse correlated with a 15 percent decrease in the relative risk of PCa. This was seen for both less aggressive and more aggressive PCa features (odds ratios, 0.88 and 0.82, respectively).

"Infection and inflammation in the prostate may be important mechanisms that enhance the risk of subsequent development of PCa in some men," the authors write. "We found a 15 percent reduction in the relative risk of PCa in men circumcised before their first sexual intercourse, suggesting a biologically plausible mechanism through which circumcision may decrease risk of PCa."

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