Can we all stand to read yet another article on this topic?
From a March Medscape article:
A study on ejaculation and prostate cancer risk, which made a big splash at last year’s annual meeting of the American Urological Association (AUA), was published online March 29 in European Urology.
“This large prospective study provides the strongest evidence to date of a beneficial role of ejaculation in prevention of prostate cancer,” write the researchers, led by Jennifer Rider, ScD, MPH, a cancer epidemiologist at the Boston University School of Public Health.
Okay, good. We’re done now, and we can all get back to… wait, what’s that?
“Association does not mean causation, so one has to be cautious about interpretation,” Janet Stanford, PhD, MPH, a prostate cancer researcher at the Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center in Seattle, who was not involved in the study, said about the observational data.
Really? It would have seemed obvious that more ejaculation is healthier.
After potential confounders were controlled for in multivariate analyses, the relative risk for prostate cancer was about 20% lower in men who ejaculated at least 21 times a month than in men who ejaculated four to seven times a month. For high-frequency ejaculators, this risk reduction was seen in all three time periods (P trend < .0001 for all).
But… there’s always a but, isn’t there?
Notably, there was no association between ejaculation frequency and high-grade, advanced, or lethal disease. The reason for this exception is not known.The risk reduction effect seen in the study is “modest,” according to Dr Rider’s team and Dr Stanford. And they acknowledge that other studies have pointed to sexual activity as a possible modifiable risk factor for prostate cancer development.
The researchers speculate what could be at work, mechanically, and offer one explanation: the prostate might accumulate potentially carcinogenic secretions that can lead to prostate cancer. This idea, known as the prostate stagnation hypothesis, has been around for decades, Dr Rider reported.That theory might have parallels in folk wisdom. When these results were reported last year, a Medscape reader commented that the results make common sense, and urged his fellow male readers to “keep the pipes clean boys!”
Ejaculation? Well, here’s somebody that doesn’t seem to be very worried about it.