As representatives of the American Cancer Society, we would like to
discourage the American Academy of Pediatrics from promoting routine circumcision as preventative measure for penile or cervical cancer. The American Cancer Society does not consider routine circumcision to be a valid or effective measure to prevent such cancers.
Okay after posting this I noticed something else. This comes from a letter that is not an official position of the ACS, but the opinion of two former staff members. This was a statement regarding the letter:Portraying routine circumcision as an effective means of prevention distracts the public from the task of avoiding the behaviors proven to contribute to penile and cervical cancer: especially cigarette smoking and unprotected sexual relations with multiple partners. Perpetuating the mistaken belief that circumcision prevents cancer is inappropriate.
A two-year-old letter being circulated on the Net discussing scientific evidence regarding penile cancer and its relationship to circumcision is personal correspondence reflecting the observations of two former ACS physician staff members. The American Cancer Society does not have a formal guideline statement on circumcision.
Penile cancer is extremely rare in the United States and accounts for less than one half a percent of cancers diagnosed among men and less than one tenth of a percent of cancer deaths among men. Circumcision is the removal of a part or all of the male foreskin either at birth or later on. This practice has been suggested as giving some protection against cancer of the penis by contributing to improved hygiene. However, the penile cancer risk is low in some uncircumcised populations, and the practice of circumcision is strongly associated with socio-ethnic factors, which in turn are associated with lessened risk. The consensus among studies that have taken these other factors into account is circumcision is not of value in preventing cancer of the penis. Proven penile cancer risk factors include having unprotected sexual relations with multiple partners (increasing the likelihood of human papillomavirus infection), and cigarette smoking.
The American Cancer Society actually states this on their website:
And in another article they state that:
In weighing the risks and benefits of circumcision, doctors consider the fact that penile cancer is very uncommon in the United States, even among uncircumcised men. Neither the American Academy of Pediatrics nor the Canadian Academy of Pediatrics recommends routine circumcision of newborns. In the end, decisions about circumcision are highly personal and depend more on social and religious factors than on medical evidence.