Circumcision Not Recommended

Penile cancer is very rare, and usually only shows up much later in life. Over 100,000 infant circumcisions would have to be performed to prevent one death from penile cancer.1  All of those infants will lose the function of their foreskin, some will have complications, and it is estimated that one infant would die.2 In this case, the disease is less dangerous than the cure. As in cervical cancer, human papillomavirus (HPV) and smoking are the risk factors. 3

This information has been reviewed by our panel of experts and other trusted advisors, however, it is not a substitute for professional medical, legal, or spiritual advice.

  1. Fleiss PM, Hodges F. Neonatal circumcision does not protect against cancer. BMJ 1996;312(7033):779-80.
  2. Bollinger D. Lost boys: An estimate of US circumcision-related infant deaths. Thymos: Journal of Boyhood Studies, 2010;4(1):78-90.
  3. Hellberg D, Valentin J, Eklund T, Staffan Nilsson. Penile cancer: Is there an epidemiological role for smoking and sexual behavior. BMJ 1987;295(6609):1306-8.
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