This morning I was searching my Google Reader for a missing article on genetics and advanced prostate cancer when I came across this interesting article entitled, "Masturbation and Prostate Cancer Risk", which was a bit of an eye opener on a Monday morning to say the least. The opening paragraph boldly declared:
WebMD reported that the author of the paper, published in the Brit J of Urology, told them that:
prostate cancer, but men in their 50s who
masturbated frequently had decreased risk."
Different results like this always leave me suspicious of meta data manipulation. Thinking this was a large scale longitudinal study of 800 odd men, I was disappointed to discover they merely used questionnaires and apportioned risk. Well, that's a poorly controlled study and it's anyone's guess what the real risk actually is. Random associations and spurious findings are highly likely with this approach, especially given that different studies using different methodologies have elicited different results.
My conclusion? An amusing, but likely spurious finding, unless a longitudinal epidemiology study can verify what, if anything, is really happening.
As for genetics, well I'm still looking for that particular paper…
Polyxeni Dimitropoulou, Artitaya Lophatananon, Douglas Easton, Richard Pocock, David P. Dearnaley, Michelle Guy, Steven Edwards, Lynne O’Brien, Amanda Hall, Rosemary Wilkinson, Rosalind Eeles, Kenneth R. Muir (2009). Sexual activity and prostate cancer risk in men diagnosed at a younger age BJU International, 103 (2), 178-185 DOI: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.08030.x