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Adv Urol. 2011;2011:812368. doi: 10.1155/2011/812368. Epub 2011 May 22.

The Strong Protective Effect of Circumcision against Cancer of the Penis.

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  • 1School of Medical Sciences and Bosch Institute, Sydney Medical School, The University of Sydney, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia.

Abstract

Male circumcision protects against cancer of the penis, the invasive form of which is a devastating disease confined almost exclusively to uncircumcised men. Major etiological factors are phimosis, balanitis, and high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV), which are more prevalent in the glans penis and coronal sulcus covered by the foreskin, as well as on the penile shaft, of uncircumcised men. Circumcised men clear HPV infections more quickly. Phimosis (a constricted foreskin opening impeding the passage of urine) is confined to uncircumcised men, in whom balanitis (affecting 10%) is more common than in circumcised men. Each is strongly associated with risk of penile cancer. These findings have led to calls for promotion of male circumcision, especially in infancy, to help reduce the global burden of penile cancer. Even more relevant globally is protection from cervical cancer, which is 10-times more common, being much higher in women with uncircumcised male partners. Male circumcision also provides indirect protection against various other infections in women, along with direct protection for men from a number of genital tract infections, including HIV. Given that adverse consequences of medical male circumcision, especially when performed in infancy, are rare, this simple prophylactic procedure should be promoted.

PMID:
21687572
[PubMed]
PMCID:
PMC3113366
Free PMC Article
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