To circumcise or not to is a debate that has been raging for quite a while. Proponents of circumcision argue that it helps improve genital hygiene, improve sexual gratification as well as is the norm in most societies. Dissidents of circumcision argue that there are numerous nerve endings that converge on the foreskin and cutting them reduces the intensity of sexual stimulation. Well, current research from a study done in Canada seems to lean towards circumcision as one of the ways that can protect a person form developing prostate cancer.
According to the study published in The British Urology Journal, there is lower transmission of Sexual Transmitted Diseases STDs in uncut men which increase the risk of prostate cancer. The researchers however caution that additional research is needed to confirm their findings, though; they say that the lessons learnt from the research could help significantly.
Based on interviews done across 3000 persons, the study shows that persons that were circumcised early on in life had a 14% lower chance of contracting prostate cancer later on in life as opposed to those people who were not circumcised. Further, people who were circumcised as adults had a 45 % less chance of getting prostate cancer as opposed to those who were uncircumcised.
According to the study, it has been long known that there are lower rates of prostate cancer among Muslims and Jews as opposed to people in the West. Circumcision has been suggested as one of the reasons because of this occurrence
To investigate whether there was any relationship between circumcision and prostate cancer, cancer researchers from the University of Cubec recruited 3208 persons in the Montreal area. The participants of the study were between the ages of 40 – 75.
Of the study group, 1590 had been diagnosed with prostate cancer. The remaining 1618 did not have prostate cancer but were in similar health and age as those who had prostate cancer. Interviews of the study participants were done at home with in-depth questions being asked about the lifestyle, health, medical history as well as work history
There was 30% of black men and 40% of white men in the study who were circumcised. From the group, it was shown that there was an 11% lower risk of having prostate cancer among the persons who were circumcised. The researchers noted that the figure was not statistically significant and the percentage could be out of chance. In black men, there was a 60% less chance of contracting prostate cancer in the circumcised men as opposed to those who were not circumcised. One of the things that has been studied across the world is that Black men seem to have a higher occurrence of prostate cancer as opposed to any other race. More to it, it has been shown that there is a higher incidence of prostate cancer in people living in urban areas as opposed to those living in rural areas.
According to the National Cancer Institute, prostate cancer affects up to three million men and is the second leading in cancer deaths among the men. The most challenging issue of prostate cancer is that very little is known about it and its causes, thus the challenge that most researchers have encountered in trying to understand how the cancer occurs. It is through understanding how the cancer occurs that the researchers can come up with a concrete solution.
Circumcision rates have been on the decline from the 1970′s to date. About 79% of all US men born in the 1970′s and 1980′s have been circumcised. The circumcision rate has been on the decline in recent years with a 62.5% circumcision rate being recorded in 1999 and less than 55% of babies born being circumcised by 2010.
It is important to note that the Canadian study does not go out to justify circumcision for prostate cancer prevention. For better results, it is hoped that future studies can make use of an even broader sample size which ought to include people of different races as well as religions
Concerns on the study have been raised, with some arguing that there were certain factors that could not have been controlled such as honesty. It is argued that respondents can give variations of the truth or even hide the reason why they were circumcised as adults. It thus may be too early to offer a pronouncement on whether circumcision may offer the said benefits and be embraced by society for the long term benefits it offers on STDs as well as prostate cancer.