Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Circumcision in Older Men Reduces Prostate Cancer Risk

By Esther Nakkazi
After the landmark research in 2007 that proved that adult male circumcision reduced the risk of acquiring HIV infection by 60 percent, a new research now proves that it has even more benefits, prevention of prostate cancer.

The findings, which are published in BJU International, May 29th, through the Wiley Press Room says research has found that circumcised men had a slightly lower risk, albeit not statistically significant, of developing prostate cancer than uncircumcised men.

The research shows that circumcision for especially black men who are older, 35 years and above, decreases their risk of prostate cancer acquisition by 45%, while those circumcised when they are children, one year or less have only 14% risk reduction.

"The strongest protective effect of circumcision was recorded in Black men, who had a 60% reduced risk if they were circumcised, but no association was found with other ancestral groups," researchers noted.

“This is a particularly interesting finding, as Black men have the highest rates of prostate cancer in the world and this has never been explained,” said Dr. Marie-√Člise Parent PhD of the University of Quebec’s INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier who led the research team.

But he also noted that this novel finding warrants further examination in future studies that have a larger number of Black participants. Dr. Parent, PhD and Andrea Spence, PhD, of the University of Quebec’s INRS-Institut Armand-Frappier designed the study, called PROtEuS (Prostate Cancer and Environment Study).

It was an observational study to investigate the possible association between circumcision and prostate cancer risk, which included 1590 prostate cancer patients diagnosed in a Montréal hospital between 2005 and 2009, as well as 1618 healthy control individuals. In-person interviews were conducted to gather information on sociodemographic, lifestyle, and environmental factors.

According to the Wiley Press Release, Dr. Parent noted that circumcision may reduce the risk of contracting and maintaining a sexually transmitted infection, which has been postulated to be a risk factor for prostate cancer. This may explain the reduced risk of prostate cancer observed in males circumcised at a younger age prior to any potential exposure to infection.

“We do not know why a protective effect was observed for men circumcised after the age of 35. These men may have had a pathologic condition of the foreskin that lead to them being circumcised,” she said.

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