The link between masturbation and prostate cancer has long been an issue.
Prostate cancer is a serious illness which mostly hits men in middle to old age. According to the American National Cancer Institute, it is estimated that one out of every seven men in the US will be diagnosed with it during his lifetime. In the UK, more than 40,000 new cases of prostate cancer are diagnosed each year, making it the cancer most frequently suffered by the male population.
The prostate is a small gland found just below a man’s bladder and near the base of his penis, almost directly where a woman’s uterus is usually situated. It is part of the reproductive system, producing an alkaline fluid which helps propel semen during ejaculation. Some years ago, a number of studies showed that frequent masturbation reduced the risk of prostate cancer. This resulted in men everywhere literally dancing with joy… for more than one reason.
Unfortunately however, such a statement is not only overtly facile, but also wrong. Yes, healthy frequent ejaculation may reduce the risk of prostate cancer, but since one must take into account that prostate cancer affects men in their 50s and 60s, this is only true for them. The bad news is that although ‘frequent’ masturbation – which for men over 50 may mean one to three times a week – may be of benefit to older men, it’s actually of detriment to men in their 20s or 30s.
One must also point out that in this case, we are referring to ejaculation during masturbation, and not during sexual intercourse. It’s been specifically scientifically proven in fact, that the bio-chemicals produced during relations with a partner are different from those produced during solo incursions. Intercourse produces certain chemicals which help clear out harmful toxins from the reproductive organs, whereas masturbation doesn’t.
This is also basically the reason why while for over 50s, masturbating a couple of times a week would be beneficial, as it would aid in flushing out negative microbes, frequent masturbation for younger men is not.
Cambridge doctor Polyxeni Dimitropoulou published significant studies proving that the high levels of male hormones produced when men over 20s and 30s masturbate probably increase the risk of prostate cancer. At this age, masturbation frequency most often translates into 3 to 7 times per week, if not more. The study suggests that men already genetically predisposed to having hormone-sensitive prostate cancer would be abetting this risk by further stimulating their prostate in this way. On the other hand, over 50s would naturally tend to feel the need to pleasure themselves less frequently, just enough, in fact, for the act to boost their now slower libido and the related chemicals, in order to further cleanse the glands.
It seems like the young men who rejoiced at the rumour that the more they masturbated, the more they prevented prostate cancer, counted their chickens before they hatched.
Technically, it’s not masturbation itself which increases prostate cancer risks in men of a certain age, but the androgens, or sex chemicals, produced by this act, which have an effect on prostate tissue. These are, on the other hand, of benefit during a more mature age, since the reduced frequency maintains the prostate active at a time when most bodily functions tend to slow down.