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Circumcision May Lower Prostate Cancer Risk

Over One Quarter of All Cancers Are Caused By Infection

March 14, 2012 -- According to the New York Times, an article published by PCF-supported researcher Dr. Janet Stanford, found evidence that circumcision may reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Stanford, one of the study’s authors and a member of the public health sciences division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, conducted two studies. One study included over 1,700 men with prostate cancer, and the other, over 1,600 men without prostate cancer. Results suggest that the removal of the foreskin before a man’s first sexual experience may help protect against prostate disease and cancer.

Though the Prostate Cancer Foundation did not fund this specific research, an initiative is currently underway to study asymptomatic infectious that occur in the prostate, specifically at the start of sexual activity in men. PCF agrees with Standford that although the exact mechanism remains unknown, it is suggested that circumcision eliminates the possibility of germs flourishing in the moist environment under the foreskin, and reduces the chance for recurrent infections.

However, these specific germs, or infectious, have yet to be identified. Several past reports have indicated that unusual germs play a pivotal role in prostate cancer diagnosis, requiring further clinical studies and trials—specifically in men aged between 20 and 30. This public health concern may be an important element to further develop the role of circumcision in men, and ultimately, the role of infections resulting in cancer and other diseases.

“We need research on hidden infections in young men that cause inflammation and may cause prostate cancer later in life,” said Jonathan Simons, MD, president and CEO of the Prostate Cancer Foundation. “The research conducted by Stanford and team strongly suggests that the microbiota, which is a fancy word for the hidden infectious and germs that may be involved in causing prostate cancer, is not understood at the level it should be. Focusing on population research between men aged 20-30 years-old could help identify what germs are responsible for initiating the early changes of prostate cancer.”

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