Monday, November 5, 2012

Ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer

An anonymous poster made reference to an article from the American Journal of Medicine that was reviewed by a physician for WebMD. I found the article interesting but as with most studies, one study doesn't prove anything. However, I thought that this review warranted posting since so many question orgasm control as it relates to male prostate health. This study makes no real definite conclusions but did find that prostate cancers were reduced in white middle aged men when ejaculation frequencies were higher rather than lower (per month).
 
The cause of this cancer remains unknown and there are very few known risk factors: age, family history and race. Outside of those definite correlations other factors that impact prostate health remain subjective, at least for the time. For this reason I highlighted those words that show this lack of certainty in the below study. I didn't highlight to discredit the study but rather to point out that studies needed to be viewed carefully and to emphasize that even the authors didn't draw definite conclusions.
 
What I found interesting is that this is a 2004 publishing date - meaning the study was probably done in 2003. That leaves nearly 10 years for further evidence to be revealed and in researching this topic I didn't find others. I would have thought that if these researchers were on to something that those involved with prostate cancer research would be all over this. I didn't find such evidence, nor have I ever been advised by physician regarding my own ejaculation frequency as a means to maintain prostate health. In fact during my last exam a few months ago, my physician informed me the PCA tests have come under criticism for their predictive reliability and advised me against getting one after finding my prostate not enlarged or containing lumps after a digital exam. All of this points to the fact that there is still much to learn about this cancer and much still remains unknown.
 
OK, enough comments, I'll leave you to decide how you feel after reading the review of the AJM contained below. I'd love to hear your comments.
 ByJennifer Warner
WebMD Health News


April 6, 2004 -- Frequent ejaculation, whether it happens during sexual intercourse, masturbation, or a dream, isn't likely to increase men's risk of prostate cancer. In fact, new research suggests it may have the opposite effect and help protect the prostate.
Researchers say it's too soon to recommend that men change their sexual habits in an attempt to lower their prostate cancerrisk. However, the study raises interesting questions about the role of ejaculation and sexual behavior in the development of prostate cancer.
Previous studies have linked frequent sexual activity to a higher risk of prostate cancer, but this new, large study found ejaculation frequency was not associated with prostate cancer risk except in the highest category. Men who ejaculated most often actually had a 33% lower lifetime risk of prostate cancer, and this relationship grew stronger as men grew older.
For example, men who reported 21 or more ejaculations per month in their 40s had a 32% lower risk of prostate cancer later in life compared with those who reported between four and seven ejaculations per month. Men who reported more than 21 monthly ejaculations in the previous year had a 51% lower risk of prostate cancer.
Overall, an average of 21 or more ejaculations a month during a man's lifetime decreased the risk of prostate cancer later in life by 33%. And each increase of three ejaculations per week during a man's lifetime was associated with a 15% reduction in prostate cancer risk.
The findings, published in the April 7 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, are based on data collected from nearly 30,000 predominately white men aged 46 to 81.
At the start of the study, men provided information on ejaculation frequency in their 20s, 40s, and in the previous year (1991). Ejaculation frequency included sexual intercourse, masturbation, and nighttime ejaculations that can occur during sleep. The men were then monitored for eight years.
Researchers found most categories of ejaculation frequency were unrelated to prostate cancer risk. But when they looked at men in the highest category of ejaculation frequency, they found evidence of a protective effect.
"When you look at the data in a little bit more detail, you do see that not only is there not an increased risk, but there is potentially even the possibility of a slight decrease in risk with high ejaculation frequency," says researcher Michael Leitzmann, MD, an investigator at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md. Leitzmann conducted the research during a post-doctoral fellowship at Harvard University.
Leitzmann says researchers suspected that ejaculation frequency might be a marker of a healthier, more active lifestyle. But when they accounted for diet, exercise, and other risk factors for prostate cancer, the link between frequent ejaculation and lower prostate cancer risk remained.

Study Raises Biological Questions
Researchers say the findings raise several questions about the biological role of sexual activity and ejaculation in the development of prostate cancer.
 
Leitzmann says that until now, sexual activity had been associated with prostate cancer risk due to the hormone hypothesis. The male sex hormone testosterone is known to spur the growth of prostate cancer cells and it also fuels the male sex drive. Therefore, it had been proposed that very sexually active men had a higher risk of prostate cancer because they had higher testosterone levels.
But he says this theory has its shortcomings because testosterone levels alone do not predict prostate cancer risk and they do not appear to correlate with sexual desire as much as previously thought.
 
Instead, researchers say ejaculation may protect the prostate through a variety of biological mechanismsthat merit further research, such as:

  • Flushing out cancer-causing substances. Frequent ejaculation may help flush out retained chemical carcinogens in the prostate glands.
  • Reducing tension. The release of psychological tension that accompanies ejaculation may lower nervous activity associated with stress and slow the growth of potentially cancerous cells in the prostate.
  • Promoting rapid turnover of fluids. Frequent ejaculation may help prevent the development of mini-crystals that can block ducts within the prostate gland, reducing cancer risk.
The Fine Print
Although researchers found frequent ejaculation appeared to lower the risk of developing prostate cancer, it's unclear how ejaculation may affect men destined to develop or already in the early states of prostate cancer. Men who reported high ejaculation frequency throughout their lives and in the last year appeared to have a higher risk of developing advanced prostate cancer, but researchers say the numbers were too small to draw any firm conclusions.
 
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.

5 comments:

  1. This study makes no statements about men with a very low ejaculation frequency, the lowest group seemed to have "between four and seven ejaculations per month". So there might (or might not be) a threshold below which the cancer risk increases substatially.
    Maybe all you chaste men should volunteer to participate in such a study. This is your chance to further medical science!

    But actually, I don't think that there is a really much higher risk for chaste men. If there was, scientists would have found out by now, even though the percentage of men with an ejaculation frequency of less than 1 per month in the overall population is probably extremely low.

    And if there was a slightly increased risk? Would you really care? Almost anything we do increases the risk of a form of cancer or some other disease.

    So just keep calm and carry on.

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  2. Mr. IH,

    Thx for the analysis. I believe if there was said correlation, we would have billboards and PSA all over the place warning men to ejaculate frequently to stave off prostate cancer. Women are confronted with the need to get mammograms, but since no such universally accepted correlation exists for prostate cancer, there is no such similar campaign. If there were, it would be apart of the public health discourse.

    sincerely,

    -SH

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  3. Orgasm doesn't equal ejaculation. If one is worried about not ejaculating frequently enough because there is cancer risk then ejaculation can be easily achieved by milking or a ruined orgasm. Neither of those things (if handled properly by the Dom) will result in orgasmic feelings by the sub.

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    1. I agree completely with you. Katie has had no desire to do either so far with me and I am unsure if she does want me to have periodic releases. She told me she did but she has not intentionally ruined an orgasm of mine more than once. Her desire is sex with me not cumming and releasing with a full orgasm when she intends that - which is getting less and less frequent.

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  4. Slightly confused... 33% would be a significant margin surely?

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