Sex, masturbation linked to higher cancer risk

Men who are very sexually active in their twenties and thirties are more likely to develop prostate cancer, especially if they masturbate frequently, according to a study of more than 800 men published in the January issue of BJU International.

However the UK research team also found that frequent sexual activity in a man’s forties appears to have little effect and even small levels of activity in a man’s fifties could offer protection from the disease. Most of the differences were attributed to masturbation rather than sexual intercourse.

The study, led by the University of Nottingham, looked at the sexual practices of more than 431 men who had been diagnosed with prostate cancer before the age of 60, together with 409 controls.

Men who took part in the study were asked about all aspects of their sex life from their twenties onwards, including how old they were when they became sexually active, how often they masturbated and had intercourse, how many sexual partners they had had and whether they had had any sexually transmitted diseases.

“We were keen to look at the links between sexual activity and younger men as a lot of prostate cancer studies focus on older men as the disease is more prevalent in men over 50” says lead author Dr Polyxeni Dimitropoulou, who is now at the University of Cambridge.

“Hormones appear to play a key role in prostate cancer and it is very common to treat men with therapy to reduce the hormones thought to stimulate the cancer cells. A man’s sex drive is also regulated by his hormone levels, so this study examined the theory that having a high sex drive affects the risk of prostate cancer.”

The study participants, who were recruited by their family doctors, were asked to fill in a questionnaire about their sexual habits in each decade of their life since their twenties.

All the men with prostate cancer had been diagnosed in their fifties. Most of the men who took part in the study (97%) were white and the majority were currently married (84%) or widowed, separated or divorced (12%).

A number of interesting points came out of the study:

* 59% of the men in both groups said that they had engaged in sexual activity (intercourse or masturbation) 12 times a month or more in their twenties. This fell steadily as they got older, to 48% in their thirties, 28% in their forties and 13% in their fifties.
* 39% of the cancer group had had six female partners or more, compared with 31% of the control group.
* Men with prostate cancer were more likely to have had a sexually transmitted disease than those without prostate cancer.
* More men with prostate cancer fell into the highest frequency groups in each decade when it came to sexual activity (intercourse and masturbation) than men in the control group. 40% of men in the cancer group fell into the highest frequency category in their twenties (20 or more times a month) compared to 32% in the control group. Similar patterns were observed in the men’s thirties and forties. By the fifties it had evened out, with 31% in each group falling into the most frequent category (ten or more times a month).
* Men with prostate cancer were also more likely to masturbate frequently than men in the control group, with the greatest difference in the twenties (34% versus 24%) and thirties (41% versus 31%). The differences were less pronounced in their forties (34% versus 28%) and by the fifties the cancer group was slightly lower (25% versus 26%).

“What makes our study stand out from previous research is that we focused on a younger age group than normal and included both intercourse and masturbation at various stages in the participants’ lives” says Dr Dimitropoulou.

“Overall we found a significant association between prostate cancer and sexual activity in a man’s twenties and between masturbation and prostate cancer in the twenties and thirties. However there was no significant association between sexual activity and prostate cancer in a man’s forties.

“A possible explanation for the protective effect that men in their fifties appear to receive from overall sexual activity, and particularly masturbation, is that the release of accumulated toxins during sexual activity reduces the risk of developing cancer in the prostate area. This theory has, however, not been firmly established and further research is necessary.”
http://www.wiley.com/wiley-blackwell

19 thoughts on “Sex, masturbation linked to higher cancer risk”

  1. What about someone who has had frequent Sexual Activity/Masturbation from Preadolescence all the way up until now (59)? Does anyone have any information on this? As far as I can determine, I don’t have prostate Cancer yet.

    Reply
    • exactly the study seems to indicate by slacking off and not having the same level of sex, or masterbation it causes a build up of toxins that cause cancer, im 50 and have came on average twice a day since my teens except for a year when me and the exwife were going through a divorce, the pain and side effects from going without some form of release. was quite evident, it was evident that would cause complications and not be healthy. thank god for my new girlfriend and future wife. she helps me when i need a helping hand and loves to love me when she feels like it. just wonderful to have a partner that understands, Ive know a number of men who have died from prostate cancer and a couple that are battling it now. the sex they had when they were younger was much more often than as they aged. as the old saying stay active it keeps you young.

      Reply
  2. This Article is completely FALSE. The study results proved that Masturbation in your early 20’s REDUCES your chances of getting prostate cancer and that those who masturbate frequently ARE FAR LESS LIKELY TO GET PROSTATE CANCER later in life.

    Google Prostate Cancer and you’ll see the hundreds of other articles and post that say the OPPOSITE of what this article states.

    One thing about the internet, there are no shortage of people who will post nonsense like this article with FALSE info to scare people into not masturbating.

    Face it, MASTURBATION is a Healthy and GOOD Activity. All the religious crazies need to just go away and hide their heads in the sand.

    Reply
  3. I agree with one of the other posters about it being hormone related. One minute they say something is bad for you and the next it is really good for you. When I was a kid at one point they said yogurt was bad for you, and now it is good. We may have become electonically advanced quite quickly, but we still have a ways to go with medicine and the human body.

    Reply
  4. This study was covered in other blogs a while back. It wasn’t a great study and is contradicted by a number of larger studies that show the opposite–frequency of masturbation is negatively related to prostate cancer risk!

    Reply
  5. If you “MEN” learn about ejaculation control you will be fine. The only reason these statments are true of what they are saying up here is becasue they are studies from average men. According to ancient Taoist and easter ways, men controlled there ejaculation through breathing techniques and other muscle techniques.( please look this up online gentlemen for more information or email me. Dont listen to these comments, men are strong but in the west we are taught from birth about over stimulation, over sex, over eating, over CONSUMPTION. Sex is great and when you discover these ways you will be happy and you will never suffer from any of these ways. Just stop the flow and breath! Its fun for you partner to help you out with this and will turn her on more as well.

    It is also proven that men store semen in there lower spinal cord. This is the essnce of our power. Learn enjoy celebrate!

    Any q and as please email me.: ssudra@gmail.com

    Reply

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Science in the Morning

From anti-aging news to reporting from deepest space. One email, daily.