The answer to this question varies, depending on who you ask. I am certainly not a medical doctor, but my vote would be that there is no correlation between amount of time spent masturbating and testicular cancer. However, if you were to ask my oldest son, Jeremiah, you might get a different spin on the issue.
Recently, I was horrified when my younger sister, Vivian, mother to my twelve-year old nephew, Gabriel came to me with concerns about some advice that Jeremiah had given to a very impressionable young Gabe. As Vivian reports it, the conversation went a little something like this:
Gabriel: (concerned) “As I’m getting older “things” are starting to uncontrollably “pop up” on me when I least expect it. It’s really embarrassing and I’m not sure what to do about it.”
Jeremiah: (equally concerned) “If you don’t masturbate every day you will get ball cancer.”
In the words of my late mother, “Now I know why some animals eat their young at birth.” Sufficed to say, I was humiliated and was for once, utterly speechless.
The irony of the situation is that earlier in my conversation with my sister, I was telling her how both boys could be such a good influence on one another. My son, Jeremiah has certainly veered from the straight and narrow path as of late, and I suppose I was subconsciously trying to salvage my sister’s opinion of him.
Vivian is an amazing person. She is also a single mother, although that’s about to change as she is about to be married late this summer. She is most likely a Republican as she is one of the most conservative people that I know (giggle). She has worked and sacrificed intensely to provide my nephew with a very quality, yet sheltered lifestyle. To my knowledge, he is still unable to play games that are not rated E. However, I have witnessed the fruits of her labor, as Gabe has turned out to be an incredible young man. Sufficed to say, you won’t hear me poking fun (anymore) at my incessantly overprotective sibling.
Sometimes I often find myself comparing me to her. She is quite possibly the most self-disciplined, organized, hard-working, balanced person that I know (quite the opposite of me). But how much does she really know about “ball cancer”? In doing some research on the topic of Jeremiah and Gabriel’s conversation I found the following article from the BBC:
And they say sexual intercourse may not have the same protective effect because of the possibility of contracting a sexually transmitted infection, which could increase men’s cancer risk.
Australian researchers questioned over 1,000 men who had developed prostate cancer and 1,250 who had not about their sexual habits.
Dr Chris Hiley, Prostate Cancer Charity
Graham Giles, of the Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne, who led the research team, told New Scientist: “Had we been able to remove ejaculations associated with sexual intercourse, there should have been an even stronger protective effect of ejaculations.”
The researchers suggest that ejaculating may prevent carcinogens accumulating in the prostate gland.
The prostate provides a fluid into semen during ejaculation that activates sperm and prevents them sticking together.
The fluid has high concentrations of substances including potassium, zinc, fructose and citric acid, which are drawn from the bloodstream.
But animal studies have shown carcinogens such as 3-methylchloranthrene, found in cigarette smoke, are also concentrated in the prostate.
Dr Giles said fewer ejaculations may mean the carcinogens build up.
“It’s a prostatic stagnation hypothesis. The more you flush the ducts out, the less there is to hang around and damage the cells that line them.”
A similar connection has been found between breast cancer and breastfeeding, where lactating appeared to “flush out” carcinogens, reduce a woman’s risk of the disease, New Scientist reports.
Another theory put forward by the researchers is that ejaculation may induce prostate glands to mature fully, making them less susceptible to carcinogens.
Dr Chris Hiley, head of policy and research at the UK’s Prostate Cancer Charity, told BBC News Online: “This is a plausible theory.”
She added: “In the same way the human papillomavirus has been linked to cervical cancer, there is a suggestion that bits of prostate cancer may be related to a sexually transmitted infection earlier in life.”
Anthony Smith, deputy director of the Australian Research Centre in Sex, Health and Society at La Trobe University in Melbourne, said the research could affect the kind of lifestyle advice doctors give to patients.
“Masturbation is part of people’s sexual repertoire.
“If these findings hold up, then it’s perfectly reasonable that men should be encouraged to masturbate,” he said.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/health/3072021.stmPublished: 2003/07/16 23:11:15 GMT
I realize that not everything that we read is the Gospel and that reporters have a way of spinning things to support their own points of views. Nonetheless, could my wayward child be on to something? Possibly so, my friend. Possibly so. However whether he is wrong or right, I had better not catch him “reducing his risk of ball cancer” when I’m at home. Gag! I pray that his preventative efforts be unknown to me…and you can guarantee that as of today I am going to quit hassling him about locking his bedroom door!