Research suggests more sexually active younger men prone to prostate cancer
What can your past sexual history tell you about your chances of developing prostate cancer? Researchers in the UK say it can reveal a lot. A 2009 study says that men who had more sex and more sexual partners in their 20s were more likely to get prostate cancer later in life. But don’t give up sex so fast, some experts think the results of this study are too premature as a basis for lifestyle changes.
Here’s what the researchers found:
Researchers at Nottingham University looked at two pools of men – 400 with prostate cancer and another 409 cancer-free men. The men were asked questions about their sexual histories – how many partners they had had from puberty, their history of sexual diseases, and the number of sexual partners they’ve had. Researchers found that both groups in the study reported roughly the same amounts of sexual activity in their 20s (having sex 12 times per month) and both groups showed lower rates of sexual activity as they aged. However, there was a difference between the groups when asked about the number of sexual partners each had. An article in BBC News says: “Almost two-fifths of the prostate cancer group had had six female partners or more, compared with less than a third of the non-cancer group.”
The greatest difference seemed to be in the prostate cancer group that had sex 20 times or more per month. Forty percent of men in the cancer group had sex 20 plus times per month while only 32% of the non-cancer group had sex 20 plus times per month.
So does this mean if you had more sex in your 20s that you’re more likely to develop prostate cancer? In the BBC News article John Neate, chief executive of The Prostate Cancer Charity says that there needs to be more research first to make that determination. He notes that the men were asked about their sexual activity from years ago, and there’s lots of room for error in recollection. He also pointed out that the study sample was small, and therefore more studies need to be conducted in this area.