Circumcised men may have a slightly lower risk of developing prostate cancer than those who still have their foreskin.
The WHO already recommends the controversial procedure based on research showing it lowers heterosexual men’s risk of contracting HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.
Last year scientists also reported that wives and girlfriends of circumcised men had lower rates of infection with human papillomavirus or HPV, which in rare cases may lead to cervical and other cancers. And last week, researchers reported that African men who were circumcised were less likely to be infected with a particular herpes virus.
“Circumcision before first sexual intercourse is associated with a reduction in the relative risk of prostate cancer. The foreskin is prone to tiny tears during sex, which may help bacteria and viruses enter the bloodstream.
Some viruses can trigger cancer when they are incorporated into human DNA. Another possibility is that sexually transmitted microorganisms could lead to cancer by causing chronic inflammation.