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J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2006 Oct;20(9):1046-54.

The carcinogenicity of smegma: debunking a myth.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Michigan State University School of Human Medicine, Marquette, MI, USA. rsvanhowe@mgh.org

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Smegma is widely believed to cause penile, cervical and prostate cancer. This nearly ubiquitous myth continues to permeate the medical literature despite a lack of valid supportive evidence.

METHODS:

A historical perspective of medical ideas pertaining to smegma is provided, and the original studies in both animals and humans are reanalysed using the appropriate statistical methods.

RESULTS:

Evidence supporting the role of smegma as a carcinogen is found wanting.

CONCLUSIONS:

Assertions that smegma is carcinogenic cannot be justified on scientific grounds.

PMID:
16987256
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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