A new study has just been published which states takes that men who are circumcised are less likely to develop prostate cancer.
The study, published in the journal Cancer, did not confirm that there is a direct link between circumcision and prostate cancer; nor does the study's lead author Jonathan Wright, of Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, advocate for the removal of the foreskin, which is still considered a controversial medical procedure.
"I would not go out and advocate for widespread circumcision to prevent prostate cancer," Wright said. "We see an association, but it doesn't prove causality."
For the study, researchers looked at the medical records and surveys of 1,754 men that had been diagnosed with prostate cancer in the Seattle area and 1,645 similar men who were healthy.
Out of those with prostate cancer who were surveyed, 65 percent had been circumcised before the first time they had intercourse, compared with 69 percent of the healthy men.
Subjects with prostate cancer were less likely to have been circumcised even after researchers adjusted their findings to account for variables such as high or low numbers of men of certain incomes, education levels or race.
The researchers suggest that there is a possible connection between the two and it is thought to deal with the notion that circumcision reduces the risk of sexually transmitted diseases that may contribute to prostate tumors.
The findings are still helpful in that they add to already accepted findings regarding how cancer develops.
"It helps us to understand how cancers develop and ultimately learn how to combat the disease," Wright said.
Circumcision is a procedure in which the foreskin is removed from the tip of the penis and it is usually conducted shortly after birth.
There are those in both the religious as well as medical community that see this procedure as unnecessary, painful and cruel.
However, researchers explain that this study does not show a definite link between prostate cancer and circumcision.
While the study highlights an association between circumcision and lower rates of prostate cancer, it did not prove a cause-and-effect relationship, according to the study.