A small study garnered significant media attention last week, with headlines blaring an association between masturbation and prostate cancer.
Before anyone gets really worried, obstetrician-gynecologist Amy Tuteur takes a closer look at the data, and is not impressed.
The retrospective, case-control study actually didn’t reveal any significant initial findings, so the authors kept manipulating the variables until they saw a possible association.
Dr. Tuteur believes that the random associations, including the widely reported one suggesting that men in the 20’s who had frequent sexual activity increased their risk of prostate cancer, were “almost certainly anomalies, reflecting the small sample size, and the limitations inherent in any case-control studies.”
In fact, when she looks back at similar studies, “there is no consistent pattern among all the studies taken together [which] further reinforces the conclusion that there is no relationship between sexual activity and risk of prostate cancer.”
Some of you can start breathing easier now.