Circumcision Associated with Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

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Men can lower their risk of prostate cancer, including aggressive prostate cancer, if they undergo circumcision before their first experience with sexual intercourse. That’s the latest word from the results of a new study appearing in the online journal Cancer.

According to one of the study’s co-authors, Jonathan L. Write, MD, of the University of Washington in Seattle, the link between circumcision and prostate cancer may involve the role of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) in the development of prostate cancer. He noted that “infection and inflammation in the prostate may be important mechanisms that enhance the risk of subsequent development of prostate cancer in some men.”

Experts have already established that infection has a role in the development of cancer, including prostate cancer.

The authors of the new study pointed out that “recent work has also shown that circumcision reduces risk for acquiring STIs.” Now these new results show a 15% reduced risk of prostate cancer among men who are circumcised before they had their first encounter with sexual intercourse.

To arrive at their conclusions, the authors evaluated data from two case-control studies involving 1,754 men with a history of prostate cancer and 1,645 cancer-free controls. Analysis showed that 1,139 men with prostate cancer and 1,135 men in the control group had undergone circumcision before their first sexual intercourse. The difference between the groups equaled a 15% lower risk for men in the control group.

Read more in our Prostate Cancer Health Center.


Wright JL et al. Circumcision and the risk of prostate cancer. Cancer 2012 Sep 15; 118(18): 4437-43

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