Can Having Sex Protect You from Prostate Cancer?

There are approximately 220,800 newly diagnosed cases of prostate cancer each year in the U.S. Of those cases, prostate cancer claims an average of 27,540 lives annually.

When it comes to cancer-related deaths in America, prostate cancer is second only to lung cancer. The odds of diagnosis are one man out of every seven.

A look at ejaculation habits and cancer risk
In a study conducted by the American Urological Association, it was discovered that having sexual intercourse on a frequent basis could decrease the risk for developing prostate cancer by 20 percent.

The research was presented at the American Urological Association 2015 Annual Meeting. Lead study author Jennifer Rider, ScD, MPH, an epidemiologist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston, did say that while this is the “strongest evidence to date,” caution should be used when interpreting data.

“There is no modifiable risk factor for developing prostate cancer,” said Dr. Rider. “It would be exciting to tell men that there was a way to modify their risk.”

Data was gathered during an 18-year-long study
Meanwhile, one of the attendees, Jesse Sammon, MD, a urologist at the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit said, “It was the highlight of the session on cancer epidemiology; the moderator called it the ‘study most likely to be tweeted.'”

The data was collected during an 18-year-long study titled “Health Professionals Follow-up Study” that followed the health developments of a group of 32,000 men.

All participants were recruited into the study in 1992. At that time they were asked to record the frequency of their average monthly ejaculation from the ages of 20 to 29, then from the ages of 40 to 49, and throughout the preceding year. They used this information to calculate a lifetime average.

A 20 percent lower risk was found
sexThroughout the time frame of the study, it was found that 3,839 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer, and 384 of those cases were fatal. It was found that the risk for developing prostate cancer was 20 percent lower for men who ejaculated 21 times or more each month, compared to men who ejaculated 7 times or less monthly.

While other studies have reported “high ejaculation frequency” as a factor for lowering prostate cancer risk, this latest study was different in three important ways.

As Dr. Rider explained, this study was prospective rather than retrospective as most other studies have been, and the data was from long-term accumulation. Secondly, it was gathered from the largest participant group thus far. Finally, the ejaculation information gathered was very specific, instead of relying on approximations. For purposes of the study, “ejaculations” included masturbation, nocturnal emissions, and actual sexual intercourse.

Similar study results confirm findings
In a similar study of Australian men, a participant group of 2,338 males provided ejaculation information. Findings of the study showed that men who ejaculated between four and seven times a week had a 36 percent lower risk for the development of prostate cancer before turning 70 years of age. This was in comparison to men who only ejaculated two times or less per week.

Sex brings many health benefits. So whether it protects you from cancer or not, it is a great way to boost your health.

— The Alternative Daily


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