Medical Q&As

Prostate cancer - sexual abstinence?

I have a strong family history of prostate cancer. I am interested to know whether ejaculatory frequency is a predisposing condition. I am sexually inactive and have been told that infrequent ejaculation allows secretions to accumulate in the prostate and this predisposes to the malignancy.

Several researchers have suggested that sexual abstinence might be a risk factor for prostate cancer but despite several studies this suggestion has not been borne out by the evidence. Despite its prevalence, we know less about the causation of cancer of the prostate gland than virtually any other cancer that afflicts humans. Genetics play a part in some cases, particularly in the case of prostate cancer developing in younger men. The risk of developing the cancer increases as the number of affected relatives increases. This genetic linkage probably accounts for approximately 10% of cases. The incidence of prostate cancer increases with age and some authorities suggest that the longer a man lives the more likely he is to develop prostate cancer. Several studies have indicated that many men at autopsy have prostate cancer even though they were symptom free in life. Several studies into the herpes virus and other forms of sexually transmitted infection have failed to demonstrate a conclusive linkage between STDs and prostate cancer. A history of multiple sexual partners also appears to have no effect on the development of prostate cancer and interestingly smoking does not appear to have any effect unlike other forms of cancer. Although theories abound there is very little hard evidence regarding the causes of this increasingly common cancer.