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February 1985

Circumcision and the Risk of Cancer of the Penis

Am J Dis Child. 1985;139(2):112. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1985.02140040010002

Sir.—A life-table analysis of circumcision and the risk of cancer of the penis has been published in the AJDC,1 using circumcision figures based on a sample of adult American men. This yielded a lifetime risk for cancer of the penis of one in 600 for uncircumcised men.

Due to the extreme variability of circumcision in the United States in the older age groups in which cancer of the penis generally occurs, and the inevitable unreliability of incidence figures in this population, a lifetime risk Table is herewith submitted based on a population known to be essentially totally uncircumcised, namely, that of Denmark.2 This shows a lifetime risk in Denmark of one in 909 for cancer of the penis. One, of course, can only say that this is the lifetime risk for a white man in a highly advanced Western European country. Assuming an association of the uncircumcised