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While studies have shown that circumcised men have a lower risk of HIV, a new analysis shows that being circumcised may also lower a man’s risk of prostate cancer. The research, published in Cancer, shows that circumcision (before a male’s first sexual intercourse) may reduce the chances of infections and inflammations that lead to cancer.
In this study, investigators analyzed information from 3,399 men (1,754 with prostate cancer and 1,645 without). Men who had been circumcised before their first sexual intercourse were 15 percent less likely to develop prostate cancer than those who were uncircumcised. This reduced risk occurred for both aggressive and more slowly growing cancers.
“These data are in line with an infectious/inflammatory pathway which may be involved in the risk of prostate cancer in some men,” says Jonathan L. Wright, M.D., an affiliate investigator in the Fred Hutchinson Center’s Public Health Sciences Division in Seattle. “Although observational only, these data suggest a biologically plausible mechanism through which circumcision may decrease the risk of prostate cancer. Future research of this relationship is warranted,” he added.