All over the world, prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men – and among the known risk factors so far are age, family history of cancer and African ancestry. But this may soon change! An ongoing research is attempting to identify new risk factors that may help prevent prostate cancer and the big news is that male circumcision can be one of the factors that will save the lives of many men in the future.
By observing the fact that Jews and Muslims are among the least affected by prostate cancer, researchers decided to find out if there was any relationship between circumcision and this type of cancer, since the men of both cultures make up for the majority of circumcised males around the world. And the conclusion can change the way we understand prostate cancer.
This study, called PROTEUS (Prostate Cancer and Environment Study), was conducted between males who live in Montreal, Canada.
During 5 years, interviewers gathered information that included the lifestyle, history of sexually transmitted diseases, diets, use of alcohol and cigarettes, medical history and profession. Also, all participants were informed about the study and agreed to be part of the experiment.
Researchers analyzed 1,590 cases of prostate cancer and 1618 healthy men, amounting to respectively 86% and 63% of the response rates.
The information collected during this study allowed researchers to understand that circumcision may be among the factors that can prevent prostate cancer, especially among black men – though others studies may conclude that circumcision has the same chance to help prevent cancer in both white and black men. In any case, it is widely known that prostate cancer is more common in men with African ancestry, especially those residing in the USA, the Caribbean and sub-Saharan Africa.
Researchers also found out that the best time to do circumcision is during childhood, specifically before the initiation of sexual life of the individual as the current study’s results proved that circumcision done before the age of 1 year have decreased the chances of prostate cancer on subjects. Thus, the present study says that circumcision is more effective in black men if done at birth and more effective in white men if done later in life.
But Why Does That Happen?
Biologically, circumcision can reduce the chances of a man being infected with sexually transmitted diseases and, because of that, potentially reduce the chances of prostate cancer. This is because the inside of the prepuce skin is more thin and therefore the microbes have greater ease in penetrating that region. Furthermore, the thin skin of the foreskin is liable to be broken during sex, being directly exposed to sexual secretions and facilitating the entry of pathogens. Finally, the foreskin also creates a warm, humid environment, which increases the survival chances of microbes.
In conclusion, this study proved that the removal of the foreskin reduces the chances of bacterial growth and sexually transmitted diseases, which may greatly reduce the chances of prostate cancer in both white and black males.
To get more information about Circumcision or to book and appointment with our experienced doctor please contact Toronto Safe Circumcision at 905-475-2506
Excerpt from a Prostate Cancer Study conducted by PROtEuS in Montreal.