8 Apr 2014

Press comment: New research carried out at the University of Montreal which has recently been reported in two national newspapers suggested that men who are circumcised after the age of 35 could have a reduced risk of prostate cancer.

It is possible to access the full research paper online here: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24655933.

Dr Matthew Hobbs, Deputy Director of Research at Prostate Cancer UK says:

“Although this study appears to show that circumcision after the age of 35 could reduce your risk of prostate cancer, the evidence presented is nowhere near strong enough that men should begin to consider circumcision as a way to prevent the disease. While the total sample studied was large, the number of men who had been circumcised after the age of 35 was very small, so this should not be seen as strong evidence of an association. There was no statistically significant association between prostate cancer and circumcision for men circumcised at all other ages. No reason was collected for circumcision, so we can’t say if the association is with circumcision later in life or with whatever causes men to have circumcisions after that age. It is also highly likely that diet, lifestyle, socioeconomic status and healthcare behaviours may have played a role in skewing these results. All of these issues weaken this evidence.

"The most important thing is that all men are aware of their risk of prostate cancer and talk to their GP about it, particularly men who are over the age of 50, of African or African Caribbean ethnic origin, or those that have a family history of the disease."

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