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May 1974

Preventing V.D. and Cancer by Circumcision

Author Affiliations

Brookline, Mass

Arch Surg. 1974;108(5):752. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01350290114031

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Dr. Ravich is a retired urologist who sets forth in his book his strongly felt concepts on venereal disease, cancer, and the foreskin. Through his early practice, which was heavily Jewish, he noted a very low incidence of prostatic carcinoma in his Jewish patients in comparison to non-Jewish patients and suggested a viral cause for this problem. The virus was presumably carried in the smegma under the uncircumcised foreskin. Cancer of the cervix in the female partners of the uncircumcised male may also be related to this carrier state. These concepts have been mused over for many years in medical circles and certainly the viral cause of cancer is regaining scientific credence. Dr. Ravich unfortunately was premature in these beliefs and, like many pioneers, apparently disregarded.

This book is primarily a biography of this distinguished urologist, with interesting historical perspectives of the early days of urology in New York City.

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