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Circumcising Newborns May Protect Against Penile Cancer

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But protection against penile cancer is only one of the benefits of circumcision, says Schoen, clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, and director of perinatal screening for the northern California division of Kaiser Permanente.

"Circumcision is indicated for prevention of foreskin infections, which can be very troublesome ... and in avoidance of phimosis, where you'll have to be circumcised later on and it's more difficult," he tells WebMD.

Schoen, Wiswell, and Moses say they are concerned that the current AAP statement could leave the mistaken impression that the AAP is recommending against circumcision, rather than remaining neutral on the subject.

For now, physicians agree, parents should make the most informed decision possible for their child after discussing the pros and cons with their physicians.

Vital Information:

  • A new study finds that circumcision in infancy can protect men against cancer of the penis later in life.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that parents make their own decision about whether to circumcise a child because the medical risks and benefits are not clearly defined.
  • Some experts disagree with the academy's position and believe that physicians should encourage circumcision.
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