Frequent Sex Linked to Prostate Cancer?

It may seem like a cruel joke, but various studies are finding that the amount of sex you have may influence your prostate cancer risk. Men in their 20s and 30s who have a very active sex life are more likely to get prostate cancer, while men in their 50s who keep up even small levels of sexual activity have lower rates of the cancer.

Even More Bad News

Just because you don't have a partner doesn't mean you're not at risk. According to the University of Nottingham, frequent masturbation bumps up prostate cancer risk,  The study examined the sexual practices of more than 400 men who had gotten prostate cancer before age 60, and a control group of more than 400 men. The men were asked to describe various aspects of their sex life, such as how often they had sex and how many sexual partners they'd had.

After studying the results, researchers think that hormone levels not only power a man's sex drive, but play an important role in the development of prostate cancer. The higher a man's testosterone, the more time he may spend on sex and the less likely he's able to fend off prostate cancer.

And does having sex often make a guy produce more testosterone?  "Increased sex can increase the testosterone level," says Dr. Kent Holtorf, who specializes in endocrinology.  "Studies show that low testosterone is a risk for prostate cancer."

What This Means for You

First off, don't panic. The University of Nottingham study looked at prostate cancer that developed before the age of 60. Yet considering that most prostate cancer is diagnosed in men over 60, it was more the exception than the rule

Secondly, take what measures you can to reduce your risk. You don't have control over some risk factors: family history, being over the age of 50, and being black. But being obese and eating a high fat diet may increase your risk, too. If you're overweight, lose the extra pounds, and try eating less fat, too.