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Old 01-04-2003, 03:07 AM   #1
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Question Can masturbation lead to prostate cancer ?

I read online that, too much masturbation over couple of years, could lead to enlarment of prostate gland, and prostate cancer...

Is this true ?

 
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Old 01-04-2003, 04:12 AM   #2
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An enlargement of the prostate gland doesn't necessarily mean that you're going to end up with prostate cancer.

Another question of statistics ... considering almost 100% of males in the United States masturbate, you'd think (especially around mid- to late-twenties) prostate cancer would be prevalent...?

 
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Old 01-04-2003, 06:18 AM   #3
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Actually, I heard the opposite. Masturbation and frequent ejaculations helps the prostate maintain its health, prevents prostate congestion, minimizes the risk of prostate infection, and can reduce the risk of cancer. Only theories at this point, but it makes some sense. Like everything about the body, exercise keeps things healthy. You don't use it you lose it. I don't see why the prostate would be different.

 
Old 01-04-2003, 12:29 PM   #4
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Well, if it was true, I think every man....would hate their lives...at least I would...

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Old 01-04-2003, 02:35 PM   #5
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Testosterone is the hormone that causes the desire to masturbate and also controls the rate at which semen is produced by the body. High testostereone levels cause guys to want to masturbate frequently. However, high testosterone levels in puberty are also linked to prostate cancer decades later (some studies do not make this link). So it might well be true that very frequent masturbation is linked to prostate cancer...but if so...only indirectly as a measure of your testosterone level.

I should also point out that early sexual intercourse and frequent sex partners are also definitely linked to prostate cancer. Presumably getting STDs makes the prostate more vunerable...or perhaps having higher testosterone levels makes a guy want to have sex early and often.

The question is of course, how much is too much...and no one has an answer to that question yet. Since its very difficult to control your testosterone levels I suggest you just enjoy what you have today...who knows about tomorrow will bring.

Finally, you should know that even if you have very high testostereone levels, lots of sex partners and very early intercourse the increased likelyhood of prostate cancer is about 4x more. That doesn't mean you will get it, it just means its more likely.

Also interestingly, the sons of fathers with prostate cancer are more likely to get prostate cancer BUT those sons are far more likely to have LOW testosterone levels rather than high. There is some indication that low testosterone levels might also be linked to prostate cancer or at least the most aggressive killing type of cancer. Ain't science wonderful.




[This message has been edited by orion (edited 01-04-2003).]

 
Old 01-04-2003, 07:13 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by Just-A-Boy:
I read online that, too much masturbation over couple of years, could lead to enlarment of prostate gland, and prostate cancer
I think that "reading online" from dodgy sources (which is to say, most online content, notably including "adviser" sites and those having advertising in the pages) is a major health risk. The term "infotainment" expresses the concept rather well.

As regards this topic, it is true that sexual activity (masturbation or intercourse) increases testosterone levels, and it is true that prostate cancer is in general, related to testosterone (removal of testosterone by castration or "chemical castration" with certain hormones is part of the treatment of prostate cancer).

Such is the complexity of the human body however, that these two observations cannot be associated to imply that masturbation (at any time) will have any effect promoting cancer. If for no other reasons, there are too many other possible interactions, many of which are quite difficult to study in a scientific manner.

For example, the point Orion makes - prostate cancer may well be substantially provoked by STDs, and this may be a far stronger effect than minor fluctuations in Testosterone (which fluctuates wildly, both up and down with sexual stimulation and other factors). And it is as "focus" mentions, seriously suspected that frequent sexual activity (whatever) keeps the prostate functioning better, and may reduce the risk of cancerous change.

In other words, more frequent sex may reduce the risk for some men (those who primarily masturbate, or are monogamous) but increase it for others (with multiple sexual partners), and not having any sex (improbable) may land in the middle!

Incidentally, "Orion"s "increased likelihood ... is about 4x more" doesn't make much sense. Prostate cancer risk is already more than 60% around the age of 60 and rapidly increases from there, if one includes those cancers that are not recognised (because there are no symptoms/ the prostate has not been biopsied), so technically, you can't have four times 60% of everyone. I presume he meant 4% more.

 
Old 01-04-2003, 08:42 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by paulb:
Incidentally, "Orion"s "increased likelihood ... is about 4x more" doesn't make much sense. ... I presume he meant 4% more.
In studies conducted on the association of testostereone with prostate cancer a group of men without cancer are enrolled and measurement are taken of many different possible prostate cancer causes. Over a period of time some of these men get prostate cancer. When you compare the testosterone levels of men with prostate cancer to men without it, you find men with high testosterone levels are about 4x more likely to get prostate cancer than men with the lowest levels of testosterone and about 2x more likely when compared to men with moderate levels.

So the 4x number is accurate over a give time period. As far as I know there have been no studies done to determine the lifetime risk of prostate cancer because you would have to follow a group of men their entire life....very expensive indeed.

However, I will say again that other studies have shown no increased risk. If you compare Japanese men (who on the whole have low testostereone levels) compared to Dutch men (who on the whole have moderate levels) you find they both get prostate cancer but Japanese men get it less. On the other hand, Japanese men who do get prostate cancer tend to get the worst form of it that kills you rapidly. So in the end the death rate from prostate cancer is the same for Japanese and Dutch men.


 
Old 01-06-2003, 04:44 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by orion:
So in the end the death rate from prostate cancer is the same for Japanese and Dutch men.
And therein lies the catch with all these studies. This last conclusion might just as well apply against the first - it is not the incidence (which as I pointed out, approaches 100% proportionately as men approach the age of 100!), but the deathrate which must be taken into account in all considerations of whether "less testosterone is better". Failure to address this aspect (with precision), makes it impossible to draw management conclusions from such studies.

 
Old 01-06-2003, 12:07 PM   #9
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I think the point can be made that orion never mentioned a percentage to start with. And the question of percentages of men getting prostate cancer -- would those percentages represent men getting prostate cancer at that AGE or getting prostate cancer EVENTUALLY?

Talking statistics is hard without the actual report (with standard deviations and control group sizes and the whole shebang) because statistics can be confusing enough even WITH all the information.

Lacking information just causes more confusion.

 
Old 01-06-2003, 09:50 PM   #10
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That is how studies are done. You examin populations of men and determine their rate of getting prostate cancer over a given time period. If men with higher testosterone get prostate cancer before men with lower testosterone then most men would prefer to be in the late blooming crowd I think.

It appears to be true that almost all men will get prostate cancer...but it's not true that all will die from it. It is true that if you get it early you are far more likely to die from it. And so the studies are directed at how soon you get cancer and what factors make it come early.


 
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