News

Circumcision Linked to Lower Risk of Prostate Cancer

Procedure might reduce inflammation, infections

Art Chimes

Men who are circumcised early - before their first sexual intercourse - have a lower risk of prostate cancer, according to a new study published in Cancer, the American Cancer Society's journal.

Scientists think circumcision may reduce infection and inflammation, which are linked to cancer.

Lead researcher Jonathan Wright, of the University of Washington in Seattle, began to explore a possible link between circumcision and prostate cancer after studies linked circumcision with a drop in the spread of AIDS.

"My interest came from seeing the randomized trials from Africa, showing a reduction in not just HIV but also several other sexually transmitted diseases with those that are circumcised, recognizing that several sexually transmitted diseases have been associated with a higher risk of prostate cancer."

So maybe, Wright thought, circumcision might help prevent prostate cancer.

To find out, he compared two groups of men - about 1,700 prostate cancer patients, and a similar number of randomly selected non-patients. Researchers asked them all if and when they were circumcised, and then analyzed the results.

"Those men who were circumcised before their first sexual encounter had about a 15 percent reduction in the risk of developing prostate cancer," Wright said. "This was true in both Caucasians and African-Americans; it was true for both more-aggressive and less-aggressive cancer, so it appeared quite consistent across the board."

Wright points out that his study shows an association - that circumcised men are less likely to get prostate cancer - but not necessarily that being circumcised is the cause of the lower cancer rate.

So what might explain the fact that the circumcised men in this study had fewer prostate cancers?

Wright suggests two possibilities. One is that the presence of the foreskin may promote inflammation. Or it may be that uncircumcised men are more likely to pick up a sexually transmitted infection that could increase the risk of prostate cancer.

His paper cites a study that found that about one out of six cancers worldwide are caused by infections.

"We do know both pathways are important in developing cancers. Which one in this case? We can't say."

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs