Circumcision and cervical cancer

  1. I came here as I don't really want to debate whether or not to circ and my question is aimed as UK nurses. As you can tell from my sig I didn't circ my boys. I am toning it down but I am very against the practice.

    I was talking to my godmother who is an RN in the US and we were discussing circumcision. I said most of Europe doesn't circ and they do okay. She said the cervical cancer rates were sky high in England. Not wanting to counter with a subject I have never researched, I said "Really?" But is it? I spent three years over there and I don't remember hearing that. Nor have any of my friends had any cervical cancer scares. And I won't be running out to cut off my boy's foreskin either.

    Thanks for any info
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  2. 12 Comments

  3. by   gwenith
    There was a research paper that did connect lack of male circumcision with cervical cancer but the research, although done in England (if I remember) was on Jewish women. I am unsure but I think it has since been either debunked or seriously challenged.
  4. by   ayndim
    Quote from gwenith
    There was a research paper that did connect lack of male circumcision with cervical cancer but the research, although done in England (if I remember) was on Jewish women. I am unsure but I think it has since been either debunked or seriously challenged.
    Thanks. I only put UK nurses as I sometimes forget that the US is about the only country that does circs routinely. I just relate non-circing to the UK since that's where I learned that men weren't born w/o a foreskin.

    I like your avoiding housework location. Since I am still a student I am avoiding schoolwork. Stats in particular.

    I always thought the sexual history of both partners was one of the main risks, not being uncirced.
    Last edit by ayndim on Jun 23, '04
  5. by   karenG
    ok- off to find the info for you- I do have this somewhere!! women whos men are circumcised are less likely to develop cervical cancer. I dont think our rate is any higher than any other european country and I dont know the rate in the states. there are numerous risk factors for cervical cancer.. including number of partners, age at first intercourse(the younger the higher the risk) smoking history, HPV status. I think whether the man is circumcised is pretty low down on the list! But I can find out easily enough!

    Karen
  6. by   suzanne4
    Extremely low rate of cervical cancer in Jewish women. Almost unheard of.. Attributed to the men being circumcised. Basically because you have Jewish people in almost every race, country, living conditions, etc. and this was found to be the case......whether it has to do with cleanliness or whatever, those are just the facts that keep coming up...................
  7. by   traumaRUs
    Can't speak for the UK but I had my son in a Spanish hospital and he was circumcised. They did all the little boys in the nursery on the same day! This was in 1985 so maybe things have changed??
  8. by   karenG
    ok folks...........went and found the info

    the Cochrane data base (biggest source of evidence based practice in the world I believe!) tells us that

    UK has 4000 cases of cervical cancer each year, with 1400 deaths
    USA has 12800 cases of cervical cancer each year with 4600 deaths

    no mention anywhere of circ being related to cervical cancer rates- I did search!

    primary cause of cervical cancer is HPV- found in 80% of all invasive cases.

    other causes are smoking, eary onset of sexual activity and multiple sexual partners.

    nothing to do with hygeine/religion etc!!

    I would suggest that the low rate in jewish woman is more due to their sexual habits ie only one partner rather than the fact the man has been circumcised!! I do remember reading that this was a red herring but cant find the referrence.

    if you want the references- I will post them but there are a few!!

    Karen
  9. by   Farkinott
    That educated people continue to mutilate their baby sons for "convenience" or for 'religious ' or 'health ' reasons is a travesty. The mental and physical trauma suffered by many african women who are circumised or infibulated is becoming more known in the western world.
    The trauma of male circumcision is more widely know but it still persists............why?
  10. by   ayndim
    Quote from Farkinott
    That educated people continue to mutilate their baby sons for "convenience" or for 'religious ' or 'health ' reasons is a travesty. The mental and physical trauma suffered by many african women who are circumised or infibulated is becoming more known in the western world.
    The trauma of male circumcision is more widely know but it still persists............why?
    I agree. It is so prevelant in the US and absolutely disgusts me to think of putting a tiny baby through so much needless pain. I always liken the health risk to that of breast cancer. We are much more likely to get that then a man is to get penile cancer. But you don't see newborn girls having their breasts cutoff to avoid later getting breast cancer. As for the cervical cancer risk, a condom would go a long way in preventing that circed or uncirced. As for convenience, it is much easier to care for a newborn who hasn't been circed.

    Does Australia also have a high rate. I thought the US is one of the few countries still circing for non-religious reasons. It persists here, imho, because it is a huge money maker for the drs and hospital. There have been cases of nurses fired for refusing to participate or advising women on the downsides. I think that was a number of years ago and that nurses can now refuse to participate. And of course, babies have died from the procedure. I don't know how women can believe that their babies are just laying there like nothing is going on during the procedure. If they are it is because their little bodies are in shock! And I have heard of stories of babies screaming or vomitting during the procedure. Of course, the parents are always told the baby didn't make a peep. Get real. If you were having a part of you cut off with very ineffective pain reliever how would you feel.

    Sorry for going on but the whole business of circing newborns just pisses me off! It is too traumatic for a grown man but okay for an infant. :angryfire Someone here asked me what I was going to do when my sons were upset because I didn't circ them. I said I will tell them to get it done if they want to. But what are you going to do when your circed son is upset because you cut off part of his penis. Tell him go ahead and grow it back son. The mom did not like that.
  11. by   AnnB
    Quote from ayndim
    I agree. It is so prevelant in the US and absolutely disgusts me to think of putting a tiny baby through so much needless pain. I always liken the health risk to that of breast cancer. We are much more likely to get that then a man is to get penile cancer. But you don't see newborn girls having their breasts cutoff to avoid later getting breast cancer. As for the cervical cancer risk, a condom would go a long way in preventing that circed or uncirced. As for convenience, it is much easier to care for a newborn who hasn't been circed.

    Does Australia also have a high rate. I thought the US is one of the few countries still circing for non-religious reasons. It persists here, imho, because it is a huge money maker for the drs and hospital. There have been cases of nurses fired for refusing to participate or advising women on the downsides. I think that was a number of years ago and that nurses can now refuse to participate. And of course, babies have died from the procedure. I don't know how women can believe that their babies are just laying there like nothing is going on during the procedure. If they are it is because their little bodies are in shock! And I have heard of stories of babies screaming or vomitting during the procedure. Of course, the parents are always told the baby didn't make a peep. Get real. If you were having a part of you cut off with very ineffective pain reliever how would you feel.

    Sorry for going on but the whole business of circing newborns just pisses me off! It is too traumatic for a grown man but okay for an infant. :angryfire Someone here asked me what I was going to do when my sons were upset because I didn't circ them. I said I will tell them to get it done if they want to. But what are you going to do when your circed son is upset because you cut off part of his penis. Tell him go ahead and grow it back son. The mom did not like that.
    I am originally from the UK and a nurse. I had my son in a US army hospital in Germany. My husband is american,my son was not cicumcised.I had to insist that they not do it,it is a barbaric procedure. Most people thought I was strange for not doing it.It is usually only performed in the UK for religious or medical reasons and is very rare.I was concerned about the reports of lack of sensitivity in the penis regarding sexual intercourse, this is not uncommon. My husband sufers from this and is convinced it was because of being mutilated as a baby.Most of my american friends had never even seen a foreskin and came to look at my son's foreskin. That totally amazed me!
    Why are americans so afraid of a foreskin? It is there for a reason 'protection'!!! Why must we regard it as a potential malignancy and chop it off just in case! As the previous person said, why don't we chop off our breasts or take out our uteruses just in case they become cancerous? There is no mystery about the foreskin, it takes care of itself and it is much easier to take care of an uncircumcised penis than a circumcised one!
    Thanks Ann
  12. by   Mags4711
    I am from the states, but I HAD to add my two cents This is one of my biggest challenges as a NICU nurse. Seeing all these babies needlessly mutilated. And when I ask my co-workers how they feel about it or if they did it to their kids, the response is ALWAYS that they thought boys needed it for cervical cancer, UTI's, etc. and that they ALL circ'd their boys because they didn't want him to look different from dad or the other boys in school. HOW PATHETIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    As a woman who has a teenager, I can assure most of you that he has never had to completely disrobe in gym class -I asked(if that is the concern, so he doesn't look different). And who gives a rip about how dad looks? It should be about the fact that dad was mutilated and you don't want to continue that tradition. If your Dad lost an arm in an accident, would you want to cut yours off, so that you would look like him?

    I find it sooooooo hard to believe that nurses, educated people (supposedly) are so uneducated and non-chalant about such an important, life altering issue. The most important point I wanted to make was regarding parental information in my hospital. I work in a large teaching hospital, one of the top 10 in the nation, and the information sheet we provide to parents, the paper that is guiding them in this decision, says the Academy of Pediatrics reccommends circumcision. AAP hasn't reccommended circing in YEARS. Guess when that information sheet was composed? 1993. Yep, we are still telling our parents information that was bogus in 1993! I am very glad that there is an organization called NO CIRC that is taking task with this in my state. They are trying to get a bill passed that will not allow medicaid to pay for circing because it is merely a cosmetic procedure. I hope they are successful.
  13. by   DawnE
    I spent 14 years on a Canadian peds floor and PICU and now work in a US NICU. I wouldn't say that Circs are done routinely in Canada or the US. It is much less common than it was, say, 20 years ago. I would estimate that less than 1/4 of the boys in our NICU are circ'd by the time they are discharged.

    About cervical cancer...I think that HPV infection is a much more significant risk factor. Maybe this site might help answer your questions...my sister is a member.

    http://www.eyesontheprize.org/
  14. by   karenG
    [QUOTE=DawnE]
    About cervical cancer...I think that HPV infection is a much more significant risk factor. Maybe this site might help answer your questions...my sister is a member.

    QUOTE]

    there is no think about it!!! read my previous post. HPV is implicated in 80% of cases of cervical cancer!!

    Karen

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