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  1. #1
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    Thumbs down circ myths 4-cancer

    There is nothing more persistent than a good scare campaign, and there are few things scarier in the popular imagination than cancer. It is therefore no surprise that the alleged link between penile cancer and being intact refuses to go away, despite the fact developed countries with majority circumcision rates (ie the US) have higher rates of this disease than those where infant circumcision is unknown. Though decisively falsified in this 1995 paper, the myth persists.

    Rather than trawl over this tiresome historical debate, let's look instead at current Australian data and see what it tells us. A nine-year average (to June 2007) of annual hospital diagnoses of malignant genital cancer shows the following:
    C61 Malignant neoplasm of prostate 18,719
    C56 Malignant neoplasm of ovary 3,478
    C54 Malignant neoplasm of corpus uteri 2,665
    C53 Malignant neoplasm of cervix uteri 1,879
    C62 Malignant neoplasm of testis 1,159
    C51 Malignant neoplasm of vulva 595
    C52 Malignant neoplasm of vagina 219
    C60 Malignant neoplasm of penis 138

    The argument usually ends there given the extreme rarity of this disease. But let's go further.

    I have broken the averages for four cancers into 10-year cohorts and then mapped those against (male and female) population numbers to produce a rate per 100,000 (a standard epidemiolgical measure) for each cohort. Here's the result.

    Some immediate observations come to mind:
    1. Cervical cancer causes great concern not just because of larger numbers but because the disease burden falls disproportionately on younger women. A 30yo woman is twice as likely to contract cervical cancer than a 80yo man is penile cancer!
    2. If one believed, against the evidence, that circumcision was a prophylactic then you would actually start with the vulva rather than the foreskin.
    3. Both the vagina and the penis are very resilient, and carcinoma rates are only significant in the elderly, and then only marginally.

    But let's go one step further. I did a broader data extract to find an incidence pattern among men similar to penile cancer. And indeed there is a cancer whose incidence is virtually identical - male breast cancer! Here are the two mapped against each other.

    Now anyone who started talking about male chest hygiene , nipple smegma or routine infant breast surgery would surely be considered somewhat unbalanced.

    Conclusion: In a developed world setting, circumcision is irrelevant to that rare disease of elderly men, penile cancer.

    =======================

    Other posts in this "myths" series are:

    Infection

    AIDS/HIV

    "Younger the better"
    Last edited by JohnC; 24-12-2011 at 03:54.

  2. #2
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    Shmoooooooosh! AKA jaxcoop
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    138? How can penile cancer be even used as an excuse? Strange..

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    Quote Originally Posted by jaxcoop View Post
    138? How can penile cancer be even used as an excuse? Strange..
    Easy. They lie. The originator of this myth in 1932, an American Jewish doctor, was even more adamant that circumcision would "cure" masturbation and epilepsy.

    Today, our own premier circumcision advocate, Brian Morris, has this to say:
    It would thus seem that "prevention by circumcision in infancy is the best policy". Indeed it would be an unusual parent who did not want to ensure their child was completely protected by this simple procedure. Indeed, the protective effect of circumcision against invasive penile cancer is equivalent to the protective effect that not smoking has against lung cancer and heart disease.
    Facts have never troubled these people.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnC View Post






    Now anyone who started talking about male chest hygience , nipple smegma or routine infant breast surgery would surely be considered somewhat unbalanced.


    r"
    This is what I don't get. Why is circumcision available routinely?

    Every argument for circumcision isn't an argument at all - it is merely just an excuse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by forbetoel View Post
    Every argument for circumcision isn't an argument at all - it is merely just an excuse.
    It's also incredibly cynical on the part of people like Morris, who never discuss the actual causes, such as lichen sclerosus and HPV, of genital cancers in both sexes. Serious health issues just become weapons in their misguided crusade to reintroduce RIC.
    Last edited by JohnC; 26-03-2009 at 08:27.

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    Here is the part I don't get. We now have not one but two vaccines that are nearly 100 percent effective against the types of HPV that cause the majority of cervical cancers. This is also available for boys in many place too. So why are we continuing to push this?

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    John C? I think I love you

    PLEASE keep your posts coming!

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    Interesting stuff, thank you so much for the info.

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    Penile cancer is an extremely rare disease of elderly men, the figure i saw was that its 3 times rarer than male breast breast cancer. Smoking greatly increases the chances of getting it.

    Terry Russell's website falsely claims that circumcision prevents penile cancer. This breaches advertising guidelines which forbids doctors claiming such and such
    prevents cancer. (It also breaches many other advertising guidelines.)

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    bump


 

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