The World Health Organization has already recommended circumcision based on research showing that it lowers the risk of heterosexual men contracting HIV. And that wives and girlfriends of circumcised men are less likely to get HPV. Of course, a rare circumcision procedure, known as oral suction, carries its own very serious health risks in infants.
But now a new study indicates that circumcision lowers the risk of prostate cancer. Reuters reports:
The new study, published in the journal Cancer, jibes with those findings but falls short of actually proving that circumcision will reduce a boy’s future cancer risk, said Jonathan Writer, at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who led the study.
“I would not go out and advocate for widespread circumcision to prevent prostate cancer,” Wright said. “We see an association, but it doesn’t prove causality.”
Although most U.S. men are circumcised, the procedure has become less popular over the past decade, and various groups have spoken out against it. In September, the Royal Dutch Medical Association discouraged the practice, calling it a “painful and harmful ritual.”