Frequent Ejaculation May Be Good for Prostate
Sexual Activity Doesn't Raise Prostate Cancer Risk, May Have Protective Effects
The Fine Print continued...
Since the study consisted of white men predominantly, researchers also say that the study results only apply to middle-aged white men. Black men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white or Asian men.
Martin Resnick, MD, chairman of the department of urology at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, says it's always been a question of whether prostate function as indicated by sexual activity might affect prostate cancer risk either positively or negatively.
"There have been some studies in the past that showed individuals that have been more promiscuous, had more sexual partners, or had an earlier onset of sexual activity had higher incidence of prostate cancer," says Resnick. "But those are old studies."
He says this study offers new information that sexual activity may not be negatively associated with prostate cancer, and it's reasonable to believe that a "use it or lose it" principle may apply to overall prostate health.
But researchers stress that until more is known about the role of ejaculation and prostate cancer, researchers say men shouldn't change their sexual behavior.
"This one study doesn't warrant any recommendations. Men shouldn't go out and start changing their habits," says Leitzmann.
According to the American Cancer Society, prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. They estimate that about 230,900 new cases of prostate cancer will be diagnosed this year in the U.S., and close to 30,000 American men will die of this disease.
The exact cause of prostate cancer is unknown, and the only proven risk factors for the disease are increasing age, family history of the disease, and race or nationality (prostate cancer is most common in North America and Europe). A diet high in fat or red meat and lack of physical activity are also thought to increase the risk of prostate cancer. Many experts believe that regular screenings for prostate cancer by a doctor can help find prostate cancer early -- when it's curable.