Prostate in men is a small, walnut-shaped gland that plays a vital role in ejaculation. The prostate produces the fluid in semen and aids push this fluid out when a man ejaculates.
Some articles have claimed ejaculating more often can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. While these claims might sound like exaggerated headlines, they may be supported in part by scientific proof.
A research conducted in 2016 study in European Eurology, found that men who ejaculate more frequently are less likely to develop prostate cancer, compared to those who ejaculate less.
The study was a followed by a 2004 study, which drew a similar conclusion. According to both studies, the risk of prostate cancer may be reduced for men who ejaculate 21 times or more monthly. This was compared with men who only ejaculated 4-7 times monthly.
Though other studies revealed some contradictory evidence. Scientists disagree whether ejaculating more often makes men of all ages less likely to develop prostate cancer.
A A 2008 study established that frequent masturbation was only connected to a decreased risk of prostate cancer in men over 50. Researchers in this study found that men in their 20s and 30s who ejaculated more often were actually at an increased risk of prostate cancer.
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A a 2003 study in contrast discovered that men who frequently ejaculated as young men had a reduced rate of prostate cancer.
From all the research conclusions that are available, the evidence may point to a link between increased frequency of ejaculation and a man’s risk of prostate cancer.
However, due to the inconsistent and lots of contradictory conclusions, more research is needed to determine if frequent ejaculation decreases prostate cancer risk in men of all ages.
Being aware of prostate cancer risk factors can assist men understand their chances of developing it.
According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the following factors make it more likely for men to develop prostate cancer:
• Age: The older a man gets, the more his chances of getting prostate cancer increases. Over 80 percent of prostate cancer cases affect men over 65.
• Ethnicity: Black men are more likely to develop prostate cancer than white men, and they may develop it at an earlier age.
• Family history: Men are at a higher threat of developing prostate cancer if they have close relatives with prostate cancer.
• Genetics: Certain genetic changes may increase the risk of prostate cancer. Research regarding this potential link is ongoing.
• Exposure to Agent Orange: Used during the Vietnam War, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has listed this chemical as being linked to prostate cancer.
• Diet: According to researchers, a man’s diet may affect risk of prostate cancer. However, studies are not conclusive. More research is needed to explore this possible connection further.
Reducing the risk
Research from 2014 discovered that the following assisted in reducing the risk of prostate cancer:
• stopping smoking
• exercising regularly
• taking 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors
While the first two lifestyle changes are relatively easy to make, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) are yet to approved 5-alpha-reductase inhibitors for the prevention of prostate cancer.
Dietary changes may also aid reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Research is ongoing, but the American Society of Clinical Oncology notes the following conclusions from current studies:
• foods high in fat may increase the risk of prostate cancer
• foods high in fruit and vegetables may decrease the risk of prostate cancer
However, these dietary changes may need to be made earlier in life to have an effect on a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer.
It is possible to detect prostate cancer early using a blood test or with a rectal exam. Diagnosing cancer early can improve the chances of survival.
Blood tests may not be the best option for all men, as they can show conditions that do not require treatment. Men over 50 should discuss being tested for prostate cancer with their doctor.