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November 5, 1982

Anorectal Cancer and Homosexuality

Author Affiliations

Harlem Hospital Center New York

JAMA. 1982;248(17):2114-2115. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03330170022015

To the Editor.—  The article by Daling and colleagues (1982;247:1988) regarding the positive correlation between homosexual behavior and the incidence of anal cancer will undoubtedly stimulate a search for the etiologic factors responsible. While the authors themselves suggest a few possible mechanisms, namely, the trauma that results from anal intercourse, anorectal herpes, anorectal warts, and other sexually transmitted diseases, they do not consider the recently gathered information on the cancer promoting and initiating ability of certain factors in human seminal plasma, particularly prostaglandins (PGs).Fischer et al1 have shown that tumor promotion is enhanced by PG E2 and PG F2 and initiation is enhanced by PG E2, PG F2, and PG E1. All three types of PGs are present in high concentrations in human seminal plasma; indeed, semen contains more PGs than any other biologic tissue or fluid.2 Ablin et al3 have