Number of Sexual Partners Linked to Prostate Cancer Risk


According to a study that is sure to be controversial, men who have slept with more than 20 women appear to have a significantly reduced risk of developing prostate cancer.

Researchers from the University of Montreal's School of Public Health reported in the journal Cancer Epidemiology that prostate cancer risk among men appears to be influenced at least in part by the number of (female) sexual partners he has had.

Men who reported never having had a sexual partner were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer compared with those who reported having had sexual partners. However, the more controversial finding is that men who reported having slept with more than 20 women had a 28 percent lower risk of developing prostate cancer compared with men who reported fewer than 20 sexual partners.

Their findings are derived from 3,208 men who were part of the Prostate Cancer & Environment Study (PROtEuS), among whom 1,590 were diagnosed with prostate cancer between 2005 and 2009.

The participants also answered a questionnaire regarding, among other things, their past sexual activity.

"It is possible that having many female sexual partners results in a higher frequency of ejaculations," said study co-author Marie-√Člise Parent, "whose protective effect against prostate cancer has been previously observed in cohort studies."

For those men who reported having had over 20 male sexual partners, the findings weren't as favorable: these men were twice as likely to develop prostate cancer in their lifetimes compared with men reporting never having had a sexual partner.

Sources: MNT, Cancer Epidemiology


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